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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.



Cultural Activities

Aesthetically New Zealand women are just as gifted in creation, interpretation, and appreciation as those in any other country. Although none has recently produced sustained work of the calibre of such expatriates as Katherine Mansfield and Frances Hodgkins, it is to their credit to note that several novels have been well reviewed in reputable overseas publications, that women's contributions of a high standard are included in volumes of New Zealand poetry, and that a good selection of their painting, pottery, and sculpture is accepted for local and national art exhibitions. Very few have achieved a comparable standard in musical composition or in playwriting. Opportunities for acting, for vocal and instrumental work, and ballet dancing have until recently been limited and spasmodic for those with outstanding ability; thus many of our most talented performers have accepted bursaries and scholarships to continue their studies and earn a living overseas. An incentive to return or, alternately, to remain here, has been provided in the past few years by two professional drama companies, by the establishment of a National Orchestra and a National Concert Orchestra, and by the part-time work offered by the New Zealand Opera Company and the New Zealand Ballet Company, many of whose members are girls and women. Moreover, a great many amateur groups throughout the country satisfy those who seek recreation in the arts and provide that vital experience which might lead to selection for more prominent roles. Only a few writers, artists, musicians, and actors can support themselves entirely by their talents. Others have to depend on alternative means of making a living and be content with intermittent remuneration.