Art and Visual Culture 

What can you tell me about Charles Goldie?

What happened to the Academy of Fine Arts?

What can you tell me about Charles Goldie?

Charles Goldie was a New Zealand artist known for his realistic depictions of Māori. He was born in Auckland in 1870, the son of a timber merchant and former mayor of Auckland.

In 1892, he went to study art at the Academie Julian, Paris. On his return to Auckland, he set up the French Academy of Art and painted historical allegories and commissioned portraits.

In 1901, he visited Rotorua and made contact with elderly Māori in the Auckland area. By 1904, he was considered the leading portrait painter of Māori, renowned for his technical brilliance, although some critics believed his work was repetitive and lacked vitality. They also condemned his practice of painting from photographs.

In 1920, his career went into decline, and he moved to Australia. He later returned to New Zealand in poor health, probably due to alcoholism and lead poisoning from flake white, a product used to prepare canvasses

In 1934, encouraged by the Governor General, Lord Bledisloe, he began painting seriously again and sent paintings to the Royal Academy (1934 and 1935) and the Paris Salon (1935, 1936, 1938, and 1939). He died in 1947.

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What happened to the Academy of Fine Arts?

In 1997, the members of the Academy of Fine Arts agreed to a settlement proposal from the Museum of New Zealand valued at $1.2 million.

This released both parties from a deed entered into during the establishment of the National Museum and National Art Gallery in 1932. At that time, the Academy donated funds and works of art to assist with the establishment of the National Art Gallery. The deed effectively provided gallery space for the Academy at Buckle Street in perpetuity and for the representation of Academy members on the Management Council of the National Art Gallery.

The Academy of Fine Arts is now situated on Queen's Wharf:
Wharf Offices Apartments
1 Queen's Wharf, Wellington
Ph: (04) 499 8807

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