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37 Works Of Well-Known NZ Artist Donated To Art Collection

37 Works Of Well-Known NZ Artist Donated To UC Art Collection

February 28, 2013

Thirty seven art works by well-known New Zealand artist Heather Masters have been donated to the University of Canterbury (UC) arts collection by the Chancellor Dr John Wood and Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr.

With over 5000 art works, UC has the second largest tertiary art collection in New Zealand.

UC has works in its collection including many of Masters’ contemporaries such as Chrystabel Aiken, Rita Angus, Ralph Hotere, Leo Bensemann, Ursula Bethell, Ivy Fife, Louise Henderson, James Johnstone, Ngarita Johnstone, Francis Shurrock, Olivia Spencer Bower, William Sutton, Doris Tutill, John Weeks and Toss Woollaston.

In 2004-05, curator and writer Ann Calhoun included some of Masters' works in the Simplicity and Splendour exhibition at the Christchurch Art Gallery. Following the exhibition Te Papa Museum bought 39 of Masters’ works, UC art collection curator Lydia Baxendell said today.

``Our art, archive and rare book collections at UC’s Macmillan Brown Library are used regularly by teachers, students and external researchers.

``We are unique at UC in the way we use art as a primary resource within the teaching programme. This includes hands on tutorials, student-led exhibition projects, tours and one-on-one research inquiries.

``With the Christchurch Art Gallery closed and the Canterbury Museum only recently open, it has meant that students studying art history and fine arts have especially benefitted from access to a fantastic collection,’’ Baxendell said.

Born in Taihape in 1917, Masters studied art at UC from 1932 to early 1936. After graduating, she worked on design in Auckland and was former Auckland mayor Sir Dove-Meyer Robinson’s designer.

``I am thrilled that art works by my mother have been donated to UC. It is like they have returned home to where they belong,’’ her daughter Lyndsay Brock said.

Masters’ legacy is her perfect botanically based designs for friezes and wallpapers. At UC, when it was based at the Arts Centre, Masters took design, antique, life drawing, portraiture, line drawing, landscape and lettering.

A selection of Masters’ works as well as art by some of her contemporaries and teachers will be exhibited publicly at the James Hight Library on campus until March 27.

Works include scenes depicting the Christchurch Arts Centre and Provincial Chambers, as well as wallpaper designs, calligraphy, portraiture and antiquity studies.

Photos, from left to right: Dr John Wood, Lydia Baxendell and Dr Rod Carr


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