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Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




The major art award provided by the New Zealand Government has been the National Art Gallery Travelling Scholarship, awarded annually to an art student between 21 and 30, who had shown exceptional ability and promise. The award, valued at £500 per annum, entitled the winner to three years' study overseas, the normal period for a complete course at one of the senior institutions; in suitable cases it could be extended to a fourth year. Formerly, a liaison was maintained with the Association of New Zealand Art Societies to coordinate the scholarship with the fellowship awarded by the Association, but this scholarship has been discontinued by the recently appointed Arts Advisory Council. The followingawards and grants, 1951–62, have been made: 1951 Paul Olds, Royal College of Art (painting); 1953 Thomas Coomber, Slade School, London (painting); 1955 Michael C. Browne, Royal College of Art (painting); 1957 John Drawbridge, L.C.C. Central School (engraving); William Culbert, Royal College of Art (painting); 1960 Ian McG. Mackintosh, Slade School (painting).

Grants from the fund were made also to Guy Ngan (Royal College of Art 1952–56 sculpture); Alfred Drury (1951–53 painting); and to Barrie Bates, Royal College of Art (1959–62 industrial design).

Since 1947 the New Zealand Government has provided funds for annual fellowships, valued at £500 per annum, awarded by the Association of New Zealand Art Societies. The fellowship could be granted for either one or two years to a practising artist or craftsman to enable him to undertake an approved project or course of study, either in New Zealand or overseas. Fellowship awards were discontinued as from 1961 on the advice of the Arts Advisory Council.

The following awards have been made:

1947 C. P. Murray
1948 W. R. Allen
1949 Miss M. Thompson
1950 Miss S. Woolcott
1951 M. Annabell
1952 E. Mervyn Taylor
1953 J. R. Cowan
1954 Mrs N. M. Parker
1954 E. Lee-Johnson
1955 E. Lee-Johnson
1955 L. R. Castle
1956 Miss N. Manchester
1956 L. R. Castle
1957 P. Stitchbury
1957 P. Martin Hill
1958 Miss R. Angus
1958 M. T. Woollaston
1959 Miss S. Skerman
1960 M. T. Woollaston
1960 D. C. Peebles
1961 R. Hotere.

Apart from these Government grants, a number of art competitions have been sponsored by private individuals or business concerns. The generous prizes offered have attracted enormous entries and lively public interest, but their benefit to artists diminishes with repetition and the multiplication of competitions. Each competition tends to attract a distinct type of work and the prizes are apt to circulate round a limited number of artists who excel in the particular mode favoured. One of the most valuable and best known is the Kelliher Art Prize awarded by H. J. Kelliher for the best landscape in oils of a typical New Zealand landscape which must be “a realistic or natural representation”. This award has been administered annually since 1956 by the New Zealand Fellowship of Artists. The first competition was conducted in the Auckland City Art Gallery and subsequent ones in the gallery of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts. After the 1961 competition, Kelliher announced that a Trust would be established to administer future awards.


Stewart Bell Maclennan, A.R.C.A.(LOND.), Director, National Art Gallery, Wellington.