Events In History
27 May 1987Death of Colin McCahon
Colin McCahon was one of New Zealand's greatest painters. A risk-taker and non-conformist, he engaged with questions of religion, faith and the human condition through his art. Read more...
13 May 1947Death of Frances Hodgkins
One of this country's most celebrated artists, Frances Hodgkins spent most of her life overseas. She earned a place among the British avant-garde of the 1930s and 1940s, becoming the first New Zealand-born artist to achieve such stature. Read more...
Recommended links relating to New Zealand arts, literature and music
- Page 1 - Arts, literature and music linksRecommended links relating to New Zealand arts, literature and
Early European painting in New Zealand was dominated by landscapes and images of exotic Māori. From the 1890s the local art scene was boosted by the arrival of professional painters from Europe. But it wasn't until the 1930s and 40s that a distinct style of painting began to emerge here.
Page 2 – Beginnings
While the first New Zealand artists often had scenic interests, they were also influenced by art historical practices and beliefs.
Page 3 – Influence of European modernism
1890–1900 Wellington Harbour, James Nairn The last decade of the 19th century was highly significant for the development of the visual arts in New Zealand.
Page 4 – A new New Zealand art
In the 1930s and 1940s a distinctly New Zealand style of painting began to emerge - regionalism that is characterised by a preoccupation with place and local identity.
Page 5 – Expressionism and abstraction
The revolutions in early 20th century European art took a long time to influence New Zealand painting. Cubism, for example, took four decades to be accepted here.
Page 6 – Contemporary Māori art
Between 1960 and 1980 a strong resurgence of Maori nationalism and culture developed alongside a growing political voice and demand for the honouring of the Treaty of Waitangi
Page 7 – Further information
Links and books relating to New Zealand art history
During the First World War official and unofficial New Zealand war artists produced a wide range of works depicting this country's war effort. These works later became part of New Zealand's National Collection of War Art.
Page 3 – Official war art
The NZEF employed its first official war artist, Lance Corporal Nugent Welch, in April 1918. Welch documented the activities of the New Zealand Division in France and Belgium,
Page 4 – Establishing a collection
Following the end of the war, attention turned to where New Zealand's official First World War art collection would be stored. Plans for a National War Memorial Museum in
Page 5 – National Collection of War Art
There are around 1500 paintings, drawings, sketches, cartoons and prints in New Zealand’s National Collection of War Art. This collection has its origins in the final year of
The 1920s was the decade that modern New Zealand came of age. Despite political and economic uncertainty, the country shrugged off the gloom of war to embrace the Jazz Age - an era of speed, power and glamour. Explore an overview of the decade and a year-by-year breakdown of key events.
- Page 10 - 1927 - key eventsA selection of key New Zealand events from
The multi-faceted Charles Heaphy made quite an impact on colonial New Zealand as an artist, explorer, soldier and colonial administrator. He was the first colonial soldier to win the Victoria Cross.Read more...
Lye, Leonard Charles Huia
Len Lye is a controversial figure in New Zealand art, an internationally renowned and influential film-maker and kinetic sculptor who is seen by some as an outsider whose art has little relevance to the local traditionRead more...
McCahon, Colin John
Colin McCahon’s works became some of the most recognisable and celebrated paintings ever to be produced in New Zealand.Read more...
Woollaston, Mountford Tosswill
By 1980 Mountford Tosswill (Toss) Woollaston was one of New Zealand’s most widely known contemporary painters; a far cry from his childhood on a dairy farm in the Taranaki backblocks.Read more...
Hodgkins, Frances Mary
Frances Hodgkins’ 56-year career as an artist earned her a secure place among the English avant-garde of the 1930s and 1940s. She was the first New Zealand-born artist to achieve such stature.Read more...
Angas, George French
The work from artist George French Angas’ 1844 visit to New Zealand recorded a crucial transitional phase of Māori culture under the impact of European settlement.Read more...
From the 1960s Rita Angus was recognised as one of the leading figures in 20th-century New Zealand art.Read more...
- war art
- peter mcintyre
- art history
- war memorials
- william trethewey
- horace moore-jones
- gallipoli campaign
- nugent welch
- george butler
- thomas mackenzie
- george french angas
- toss woollaston
- len lye
- new plymouth
- frances hodgkins
- wellington city
- colin mccahon
- abstract art
- parliament buildings
- rita angus
- charles heaphy
- battle of waiari
- victoria cross
- new zealand company
- charles goldie
- don peebles
- james nairn
- wellington harbour
- nelson city
- john gully
- robert field
- ian scott
- ralph hotere
- bill manhire
- mt taranaki
- christopher perkins
- otago region
- doris lusk
- gordon walters
- selwyn muru
- maori art
- new zealand wars
- gustavus von tempsky
- waikato wars
- william hodges
- land claims
- daylight saving
- auckland city
- philip clairmont
- prisoners of war