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Maurice Shadbolt's Art Colllection To Be Sold

Media release – April 2, 2008

The entire art collection of award-winning New Zealand writer Maurice Shadbolt goes under the hammer

The entire art collection of award-winning New Zealand writer Maurice Shadbolt will go under the hammer at Webb’s art auction in Auckland next Monday.

Shadbolt died in 2004 and the collection is being sold on behalf of this five children. His collection includes works by Colin McCahon, Michael Smither and Don Binney. Many of the paintings were gifts to the writer from the artists as tokens of friendship.

Several of the works in the collection by Smither were published on the covers of Maurice’s books.

Shadbolt is best known for his novels and a number of works of non-fiction, which received acclaim during his lifetime. He wrote perhaps the most important trilogy of historical fiction in New Zealand with Season of the Jew, Monday’s Warriors and House of Strife, with The New York Times describing Season of the Jew as one of the top books for 1987.

He won numerous fellowships and almost every big New Zealand literary prize, some more than once: he is the only New Zealander to win the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Award three times, in 1963, 1967 and 1995. He also won the New Zealand Book Award in 1981 and a Montana New Zealand Fiction Honour Award in 1996. In 1989 he was appointed CBE for his services to New Zealand literature; in 1990 he received the Commemoration Medal for services to New Zealand; and in 1997 he was appointed an honorary doctor of literature at the University of Auckland.

Many of the pieces in the Shadbolt Collection feature on the covers of books he wrote. He struck up long lasting and fruitful relationships with artists Michael Smither, Eric Lee Johnson and Tom Burnett.

An opportunity to view the collection of Maurice Shadbolt at Webb’s Gallery provides the public with a chance to own a lasting piece of New Zealand’s cultural history.


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