TAYLOR, Ernest Mervyn
A new biography of Taylor, Ernest Mervyn appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.
Ernest Mervyn Taylor was born at Auckland on 4 August 1906, the son of Ernest Herbert Taylor and Emily, née Webber. He was educated at Auckland Grammar School and attended the Elam School of Art (Auckland) and the Wellington Technical College School of Art. After serving his apprenticeship as a jewellery engraver, he held various positions until 1935 when he joined the W. D. and H. O. Wills's advertising studio. In 1938 he transferred to Carlton-Carruthers, an advertising firm, but left in the following year to become a free lance commercial artist. From 1942 until 1944 he served on the New Zealand Temporary Staff. Then followed two years as illustrator and art editor in the School Publications Branch of the Education Department. From 1946 till his death he was a free lance artist in Wellington. In 1952 Taylor was awarded a scholarship of £1,000 by the Association of New Zealand Art Societies to enable him to prepare a set of wood engravings illustrating Maori mythology. He was an honorary member of the Society of Illustrators, New York (1950), a Fellow of the International Institute of Arts and Letters, Lindau (1952), a council member of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, and a member of the committee of management of the National Art Gallery from 1952 till 1964. Prints by Taylor were included in the first and second International Graphic Arts Exhibition, Tokyo, 1957 and 1960, and his works were also shown in New York, Moscow and Poland. He is represented in most New Zealand Art Galleries.
Skill acquired during his apprenticeship to jewellery engraving was eventually transferred to wood engraving in which he became the foremost exponent in New Zealand.
On 15 December 1937 at Christ Church, Wanganui, Taylor married Edelweiss Yeoville, daughter of Gerald Vaughan Cooke. He died at Wellington on 7 June 1964 leaving his widow, a son, and a daughter.
by Stewart Bell Maclennan, A.R.C.A.(LOND.), Director, National Art Gallery, Wellington.
- The Dominion, 8 Jun 1964 (Obit)
- Evening Post, 8 Jun 1964 (Obit).