Unknown [Nursery Rhyme Panels]


Molly Macalister



  • Glass
  • Paint


  • 10 panels: 1/ Cinderella: H300 x W1000; 2/ Hey Diddle Diddle: H300 x W2100mm; 3/ Queen of Hearts: H380 x W2060mm; 4/ Humpty Dumpty: H300 x W2100mm; 5/ Old King Cole: H300 x W2140mm; 6/ Mickey Mouse: H300 x W2130mm; 7/ Little Bo Peep: 300 x 1700mm; 8/ The Three Little Pigs: H300 x W2100mm; 9/ Goldilocks and the Three Bears: H300 x W1700mm; 10/ Rock-a-bye Baby: H800 x W500mm

Molly Macalister, title unknown (c.1937) [7 panels], Gore Hospital, Maruawai Gore

Images: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2021


Ten painted and etched glass murals of children's nursery rhymes that were originally created for, and installed in, the children's Ward of Seddon Memorial Hospital.

The works are now distributed throughout Gore Hospital as follows:

Corridor leading off the main entrance:

  • Cinderella
  • Hey Diddle Diddle
  • Queen of Hearts
  • Humpty Dumpty
  • Old King Cole
  • Mickey Mouse

Around the corner of the hallway heading to the ward:

  • Little Bo Peep

In the Maternity Ward:

  • The Three Little Pigs
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • Rock-a-bye Baby

“Joy Johnson, then aged eight, remembers the etched glass windows along the corridor with affection as her only distraction during a 10-day stay in an otherwise bland one-bed unit in 1942...The windows, by former Invercargill artist Molly MacAllister [sic] depicting nursery rhyme characters have been transferred to the new hospital.”
- qhote from Rosemarie Smith, Seddon Memorial: The rise and demise of a country hospital. (NZ: Seddon Memorial Hospital Book Committee, 2005), 127. 

It is possible this work was created by Molly during her time as a land girl at her uncle’s sheep farm at Waikaka in late 1940. It may also date to an earlier visit home during her studies at Canterbury University School of Art.

Access details: 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday, or 9.30am to 6pm on weekends.