Title by Claus Edward Fristrom
Born 1864, Died 1942.
Born in Sweden, Edward Fristrom was the brother of Oscar (1856-1918) portrait painter and founder of the Queensland Art Society. Edward Fristrom was a naval cadet on a Swedish training ship who deserted while in Australian waters to join his brother in Brisbane. In 1896 he was on the council of the art society there and along with the more adventurous Australian painters he shared the neo-impressionist style. Although this style was practiced in New Zealand it never approached the same level of acceptance as it did in Australia however Fristrom was to retain the style throughout his lifetime.
Arriving in Auckland in 1903, Fristrom exhibited with the Auckland Society of Arts (A.S.A) until 1909 when he went to Brisbane to visit his brother. Fristrom returned to New Zealand again in 1911 to teach at the Elam School of Art, resigning in 1915 over a pay dispute. In these latter years he exhibited with the Auckland Society of Arts and the Academy of Fine Arts. He visited his friend Marcus King in Wellington before departing for the USA where he died in Carmel, California.
Fristrom is represented in all major New Zealand galleries, the Turnbull and Hocken Libraries and he is most known for his small impressionist oil paintings - portraits and landscapes.
Pond, Cashmere Hills by Esther Hope
Esther Hope (née Barker) was born at Waihi. Her mother, Emily Barker, was a keen artist and very supportive of her daughter's artistic aspirations. In 1907 she started having lessons from Christchurch artist Margaret Stoddart (1865-1934) who introduced Hope to the work of the English Impressionists and encouraged her to look to her local environment for painting inspiration.
In 1911, Esther Hope travelled to England to study at the Slade School of Art in London and later journeyed throughout Europe exhibiting at the Royal Academy and the Paris Salon. During World War I she chose to work as a nurse-aide in Europe and England. Esther returned to New Zealand in 1919 and married Norman Hope in 1920 who had taken over the large Mackenzie sheep station called The Grampians in 1914. This became their home and many other artists were made welcome there and went on painting trips together.
Esther Hope was an exceptional landscape artist and is well known for her paintings of the Mackenzie. Lake Alexandrina or 'Lake Alex' as it is often referred to is a popular holiday spot for many people.
Bluebells in Kew Gardens by C.H. Howorth
C.H. Howorth - 1856 - 1945
Born in New Zealand, Charles Henry Howorth is best known for his landscapes in oils and watercolour. An Engineer in Southland County for at least 22 years, Howorth co-founded the Invercargill Art Society in 1893 before moving to Wanganui around 1912. He was an early member of the Wanganui Arts and Crafts Society.
Howorth exhibited widely including Fine Arts Assoc Wellington 1883, NZ Academy of Fine Arts (Wellington) 1897-1911, OAS 1904-1937, ASA 1914-1918, NZ Industrial Exhibition 1885, NZ and South Seas Exhibition 1889-1890, St Louis Exposition USA 1904. His work was also included in the Centennial Exhibition (Wellington) 1940. He is widely represented in public art galleries throughout New Zealand.
Waikanae by Sissy (Isabel) Field (nee Hodgkins)
Born in Dunedin, Isabel Hodgkins was the daughter of William Matthew Hodgkins and older sister of Frances Hodgkins. In her childhood she showed even greater promise than Frances and her father groomed her accordingly, giving her lessons, taking her on sketching excursions and introducing her the members of his private art club. She began to exhibit in her teens and by the age of twenty her flower pieces and landscapes had won her a considerable reputation. Like her father she regarded the atmospheric watercolours of J.M.W.Turner as the ideal, as Mist Descending demonstrates. Isabel Hodgkins, unlike her sister, accepted an imported artistic fashion without question and continued to paint in the approved manner of artists such as her father, Gully and Hoyte. In 1888 she had received enough money from the sales of pictures to go with her father to Melbourne where they were both represented in the Centennial International Exhibition. After her marriage to W.H. Field in 1893 she moved to Wellington thereafter only painting intermittently as a hobby.
Evening Solitude, Otago Estuary by Mabel Hill
Mabel Hill (3 March 1872 – 18 November 1956) was a New Zealand artist.
She was born at Cox's Creek, Auckland, New Zealand, the youngest child of Charles Hill, a hatter, and his wife, Eliza Ann Hulbert. In 1875 the family including Mabel, her brother Alfred Hill and 7 other siblings moved to Wellington, New Zealand. Hill attended primary school but did not attend secondary school. She went directly to the Wellington School of Design to study art in 1886. After time as a pupil of this school she returned as a teacher remaining at the school until 1897. In January 1898 she married John McIndoe, a printer, and moved to Dunedin.
During her time at the Wellington School of Design she met and was heavily influenced by the Scottish artist James M. Nairn. He introduced her to the contemporary art movements of Europe and, in particular, impressionism.
After her move to Dunedin, Hill joined the Otago Art Society exhibiting works under her maiden name while sitting on the Council under her married name. She was supported in her art by her husband who, when building a house in preparation for their marriage, also ensured that a small studio was completed. This space enabled Hill to continue to paint throughout her marriage and birth of four children.
Hill exhibited in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington painting mainly portraits and still lifes including flowers. Gardening was another favourite activity.
After the death of her husband in 1916 she ran his printing business but continued to paint and exhibit. She took private pupils and taught art at Archerfield College from 1922-1925. She illustrated Barbara Douglas's Pictures in a New Zealand Garden (1921) and with Alfred Henry O'Keeffe she opened the Barn Studio in the early 1920s.
She travelled extensively after her children left home until the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1925-26 she visited her son Archibald McIndoe in the United States. In 1927-28 she visited both the United States and Tahiti and in 1930 went to Europe. Based in London, she painted with Sydney Lough Thompson at Concarneau, Brittany, and in 1931-32 spent seven months in Capri. She returned to Dunedin in 1935, stayed in London again in 1938, and at the end of the war left New Zealand to settle permanently in England to be near her son Archibald McIndoe.
She died in East Grinstead, Sussex on 18 November 1956.
Her son John McIndoe was also an artist, and later ran the family printing firm.
Mouse by E. Mervyn Taylor (Woodcut)
E. Mervyn Taylor, Born 1906, Died 1964
Ernest Mervyn Taylor died at the age of 57 at the peak of his creative activity. He excelled as a wood engraver, painter, illustrator, sculptor and designer combining his skills and talents with infinite patience and integrity.
Several aspects make Mervyn Taylor an extremely important and interesting artist. He was known and respected internationally, he was committed to producing solely indigenous subjects and he was one of the first New Zealand artists to make a successful living from his art without teaching.
Born in Auckland in 1906, Mervyn Taylor was involved in the advertising industry in the early days after having served an apprenticeship in jewellery engraving in the 1920's. Just before the war, he began to freelance as an artist-designer and then joined the Department of Education as an illustrator and art editor. He had shown an early interest in painting and, as in his other work, his attention to detail and strong design elements were retained in his watercolours and ink drawings. A tree for instance not only possessed strong form and colour, but could be identified as a particular species.
In 1958, as a guest of the USSR Ministry of Culture, he was invited to hold a one-man exhibition in Moscow. The collection of some 100 works was toured throughout the country and he was at that time described as a master of wood-carving and engraving, and as a great modern graphic artist.
Mervyn Taylor believed that the function of the artist was to make the viewers aware of their surroundings, and his love of the New Zealand landscape portrayed in his work, showed his emotional involvement with his subject.
His work is held in public collections throughout New Zealand and in private collections all over the world.