Rotunda at Ngaruawahia
Douglas Kerr MacDiarmid
The Ngaruawahia Rotunda depicted in this watercolour was built in 1910 and looks out over the merging of the Waipa and Waikato rivers. Painted relatively early in Douglas MacDiarmid’s career it is likely that this work was completed not long before the artist moved to Paris, France in the late 1940’s.
Douglas MacDiarmid (1922 - ) was born and raised in Taihape, and educated at Huntly Preparatory School, Marton and Timaru Boys High School as a boarder. He continued his education at Canterbury University, Christchurch where he completed an arts degree in the 1940s. During this time he was heavily influenced by his associations with the ‘Christchurch Group’ that included artists such as Evelyn Page, Rita Angus, and Leo Bensemann. His move to France during a time when French art was still dominant on the world stage, allowed MacDiarmid to make the most of his opportunities. His major period of production from the 1950s to the 2000s saw him exhibiting all over the world. He has held 31 solo exhibitions in New Zealand alone to 2013, including an official 1990 Sesquicentennial exhibition in Wellington where he was declared a New Zealand living cultural treasure, and dual exhibitions in 2002 in Auckland, Wellington, and Paris to celebrate the working artist at 80. This milestone was also marked by the release of the art history book 'MacDiarmid', written by Dr Nelly Finet, in New Zealand and France. His life and times biography is current being written. MacDiarmid is held in all of the important art collections in New Zealand, and institutional and private collections throughout the world.
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240 x 376mm (image)
Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato,
Courtesy MacDiarmid Arts Trust