Story: Arts and the nation

Gordon Walters

Gordon Walters

Marti Friedlander's portrait of Gordon Walters in 1978 shows him in front of one of his famous koru paintings. Walters had become interested in Māori designs through the influence of fellow artist Theo Schoon in the late 1940s, and he began using the koru (unfurling fern) shape in his work in the 1950s. However, his painting was not widely recognised until the 1970s, partly because the nationalist movement in art did not find much place for either abstraction or Māori culture.

Using this item

Auckland Art Gallery – Toi o Tāmaki
Reference: 2000/28/138
Photograph by Marti Friedlander

Permission of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Arts and the nation - Major themes of cultural nationalism, 1930 to 1970', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 April 2024)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 22 Oct 2014