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OldschoolNewschool: An Art and Design History of New Zealand


Tue 1 Nov 2011, 9:00am–5:00pm
Wed 2 Nov 2011, 9:00am–5:00pm
Thu 3 Nov 2011, 9:00am–5:00pm
Fri 4 Nov 2011, 9:00am–5:00pm
Sat 5 Nov 2011, 10:00am–4:00pm

Where: Old Museum Building - Massey University, Buckle St, Mt Cook, Entrance D, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Related Artists:

Listed by: Jeannette Troon

In 2011 the College of Creative Arts at Massey University is celebrating 125 years of art and design education, tracing its origins to the School of Design established by Arthur Riley in 1886. Since then the school has been known as the School of Design (1886 -1905), the Wellington Technical College and School of Art, (1905 -1961) and the Wellington Polytechnic School of Design, (1962 -1999).

To honour this long tradition of defining excellence, the College is curating an exhibition Oldschool Newschool: an art and design history of New Zealand, which will showcase design objects (and their associated narratives) produced by alumni of the Design School.

The exhibition is to be opened officially by the Hon. Christopher Finlayson (Minister of Culture and Heritage) on 28 Sept. It will be on display in the Great Hall of the Museum Building until 5 Nov 2011.

The project has received a portion of its funding from the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board and is proud to be part of the REAL New Zealand Festival 2011.

It has also been substantially supported by the expertise, energy and commitment of Massey University staff, students, volunteers and, of course, the alumni who are contributing their work to the exhibition.

This is a huge opportunity to profile New Zealand design, the role it has in New Zealand's culture and economy and the formative part that the Design School has played in producing some of the world’s best design objects and practises.

The College of Creative Arts has engaged a coordinator, Luit Bieringa (former director of the National Art Gallery) who is working with Museum Studies students and graduates to mastermind the project.

“The exhibition is a summary of a massive educational journey,” Bieringa says. “Fashion designers, artists, industrial designers, photographers, book designers – the school has given them the tools to go away and create their futures.

“We want visitors to enjoy and understand the journey from teaching to product. The underlying ethic of the design school is one in which people are actually making things. The end results are everything from a Zip toaster to a dress to an advertisement – to a film production studio in the case of Sir Richard Taylor. They are all part of that practical application of art and design to society – and those are the stories we’re telling.”

The work of graduates has been integral to the development of revolutionary creations such as the Fisher & Paykel dish drawer, Formway’s Life chair, the Matangi Train and hundreds of other products – and has won a slew of major awards here and overseas."

Design School alumni who will be featured include:

Robert Stout
Arthur Riley
Len Lye
Avis Higgs
Gordon Walters
Don Ramage
James Coe
John Drawbridge
Mark Pennington
Grant Alexander
Ray Labone
Michael Smythe
Bill Toomath
Mark Cleverley
Jane Ussher
Murray Pilcher
Julia Morison
John Brown
Sir Richard Taylor
Mark Elmore
Kate Sylvester
Fane Flaws
Joe Bleakley
Mark Cleverley
Manos Nathan
Collette Dinnigan
Danny Coster
Matt Holmes
Catherine Griffiths
Jurgen Waibel
Rebecca Taylor
Peter Trevelyan
Alexandra Owen

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