Topic: The Homestead Drawings of Des De Stefano

Topic type:

Drawings and histories of historic Wairarapa homesteads created by Masterton resident Des De Stefano.

The Homestead Drawings


 Des De Stefano


Born in Auckland in 1935 Desmond Felix (Des) De Stefano worked in the horticulture industry and owned the Lansdowne Nursery in Masterton. In the late 1980s ill health confined Des to his home and he set about working on activities to occupy his time. A keen amateur artist all his life, one of Des' projects was to research and make intricate pencil sketches of some of the historic homesteads of the Wairarapa.

Des drew the houses using photos gathered from a variety of sources, including the Wairarapa Archive. He also got photos and information from the owners of the properties, many of whom he got to know well while he was working on the drawings. Amongst these was former cabinet minister John Falloon who first met Des when he called to ask Mr Falloon about the history of the Bowlands homestead.

From 2001 to 2004 the Wairarapa Midweek newspaper published many of Des' drawings and they were a very popular feature amongst readers. In 2003 an exhibition of more than 100 of Des' drawings was staged in the State Centre in Queen Street, Masterton. Des passed away in 2004 aged 69, and in 2009 his widow Lois donated his original sketches to the Wairarapa Archive.

Des' homestead drawings are reproduced through this Kete so that others can continue to enjoy and be informed by Des' work. The information contained is a result of Des' own research and was current at the time he was working on the project.

Des De Stefano

 Photo of Des De Stefano c.2004, supplied courtesy of the Wairarapa Times Age.

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License
The Homestead Drawings of Des De Stefano by Jon Adams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License