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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
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.



Elam School of Fine Art

The Elam School of Art was founded in 1890 following a bequest by John Edward Elam, a prominent citizen of Auckland, who had been keenly interested in the arts. The first director was E. W. Peyton, 1890–1923, who was succeeded by A. J. C. Fisher, A.R.C.A., 1923–59. Paul Beadle was appointed first professor of fine art in 1961. Until 1949, the school was administered by the Education Department students entering under Government free place or paying fees as applicable. In 1949 the school buildings in Symonds Street were destroyed by fire, and since then the school has been housed in temporary accommodation at the old Newton West School. Great North Road, and in the one remaining building at Symonds Street.

Since 1950, when the school became a special school of the University of Auckland, courses have been available for the Diploma in Fine Arts in either painting, sculpture, or design. Classes are also available for students studying the Preliminary Diploma in Fine Arts and part-time subjects. Hopes for the future include: the establishment of a Bachelor of Fine Arts course; the addition of ceramics to the department of sculpture; and the development of the design department to include industrial design.

New school buildings at the rear of St. Paul's Church, Symonds Street, are now occupied.