Perceptions of Art: New Books

Check out some of the recent additions to our art sections – this time with a focus on how we look at and appreciate different works of art. These books span from classical paintings, all the way through to modern design and the creativity of artificial intelligence.

Look again : how to experience the Old Masters / Ward, Ossian
“An approachable guide to Old Masterpaintings from a newperspective that offers a simple aid to looking at and demystifying the often obscure strategies of the greatest painters of all time. Look Again does not deny the specific complexities and barriers associated with looking at art from other eras, instead it offers methods that not only provide the viewer with the tools to interpret the art, but also assumes that we intuitively hold some of this knowledge within ourselves already.” (adapted from Catalogue)

From A to Eames : a visual guide to mid-century modern design / Whybrow, Lauren
“This sophisticated A to Z picture book for adults is an illustrated journey through midcentury modern design, perfect for any reader with a keen eye for style. With eighty tales of design, laid out in a fun and easy-to-read A to Z format, design lovers will be reading this book to each other before bed. If you didn’t know that E stands for Eames, Egg Chair, and Elrod House (or don’t know what any of those words actually mean) then this book belongs on your coffee table. And if you can’t afford an Eames coffee table, then rejoice in knowing that From A to Eames makes an inexpensive and equally satisfying alternative.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Old in Art School, Nell Painter (Audiobook)
Following her retirement from Princeton University, celebrated historian Dr. Nell Irvin Painter surprised everyone in her life by returning to school-in her sixties-to earn a BFA and MFA in painting. In Old in Art School, she travels from her beloved Newark to the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design; finds meaning in the artists she loves. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Great women artists
“Five centuries of fascinating female creativity presented in more than 400 compelling artworks and one comprehensive volume. In museums, galleries, and the art market, previously overlooked female artists, past and present, are now gaining recognition and value. This essential volume reveals a parallel yet equally engaging history of art for an age that champions a greater diversity of voices.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Colin McCahon : there is only one direction. Vol. I 1919-1959 / Simpson, Peter
“The first of an extraordinary two-volume work chronicling forty-five years of painting by New Zealand’s most important artist, Colin McCahon. This material enables us to begin to understand McCahon’s work as the artist himself conceived it. This will be the definitive work on New Zealand’s leading artist for many years to come.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The creativity code : how AI is learning to write, paint and think / Du Sautoy, Marcus
“As humans, we have an extraordinary ability to create works of art that elevate, expand and transform what it means to be alive. But can machines be creative? Marcus finds out how long it might be before machines come up with something creative, and whether they might jolt us into being more imaginative in turn. The result is a fascinating and very different exploration into both AI and the essence of what it means to be human.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Almost lost arts : traditional crafts and the artisans keeping them alive / Freidenrich, Emily
“The perfect antidote to the digital age. This book celebrates twenty artisans around the world who are breathing new life into traditional crafts. Gorgeous photographs reveal these craftspeople’s studios, from Oaxaca to Kyoto and from Milan to Tennessee. Two essays explore the challenges and rewards of engaging deeply with the past. With an elegant three-piece case and foil stamping, this rich volume will be an inspiration to makers, collectors, and history lovers.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The story of painting : how art was made.
“A fascinating new history of art, this gloriously illustrated book reveals how materials, techniques, and ideas have evolved over the centuries, inspiring artists and giving them the means to create their most celebrated works. Covering a comprehensive array of topics. The Story of Painting follows each step in the evolution of painting over the last 25,000 years, from the first cave paintings to the abstract works of the last 150 years.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Rick Steves Europe’s top 100 masterpieces : art for the traveler / Steves, Rick
“This essay collection features Rick’s unique take on Europe’s best-known works of art, from the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa to Picasso’s Guernica, providing historical context as well as a personal examination of the pieces. The book also covers Europe’s most striking architecture… sure to inspire both history buffs and novice travelers alike.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Finding inspiration – The latest books and magazines in art

Our newest additions to the collection have a shared focus on mixed media, and how we can use this to really convey our perceptions of the world. We take a look at New Zealand artist Douglas MacDiarmid, some new approaches to how we create art, and finish off with a highlight of some of our digital magazines available through RBdigital, including our recent subscription to the Australian storytelling magazine Dumbo Feather.

Textile landscape : painting with cloth in mixed media / Holmes, Cas
“Textile Landscapes demonstrates how to develop your approach to textile art with a focus on using found objects and paint and stitch on cloth and paper. Cas looks at both urban and intimate spaces, capturing the changing seasons, the technical aspects of painting and dying cloth, experimenting with photos, creating stitchscapes, attaining inspiration from found objects, and so much more.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Overdrive cover Paint Pouring, Rick Cheadle (ebook)
“Paint Pouring is a form of abstract art that uses acrylic paints with a runny (fluid) consistency. The acrylic paints react with each other when combined to make interesting and visually organic motifs. Fluid acrylics can be used on many types of substrates through various techniques such as pouring, dripping, swirling, glazing, dipping, and more to create dazzling and masterful effects.”
(Adapted from Overdrive description)

 

Colours of a life : the life and times of Douglas MacDiarmid / Cahill, Anna
“This biography is the lively, persuasive and colourful story of a talented bisexual man who had to leave New Zealand to find a life as a painter on his own terms. Now almost 95, still resident in Paris, he is oldest survivor of his extraordinary generation of creative New Zealanders, and perhaps a missing link — the one who got away and slid under the radar for choosing to pursue a global career rather than a domestic living.” (Catalogue)

 

Overdrive cover The Watercolor Course You’ve Always Wanted, Leslie Frontz (ebook)
Through thoughtful discussion, expert instruction, and in-depth step-by-step demonstrations, Leslie Frontz shows readers how to eliminate common barriers to achieve beautiful, captivating watercolor paintings. Beginning with teaching readers how to see with an artist’s eye, Frontz then establishes how watercolor painters build on this skill by making timely decisions throughout the creation process. (Overdrive description)

 

Dumbo Feather
Dumbo Feather is an iconic Australian magazine. Published quarterly for seven years, and hailed around the world as a design leader, it is a magazine like no other. Our readers are people who want to be told a different story than the one they hear every day. Each quarterly issue features five extended (20 page) profiles of people worth knowing, across enterprise, education, science, sport, politics, fashion and the arts. Whether they’ve touched millions, or just those around them, we take the time to get to know these people, and ask them to tell us their stories. (RBdigital description)

Artists & Illustrators
Artists & Illustrators is the UK’s best-selling magazine for artists and art lovers, providing advice and inspiration every month. Whether you favour oils or watercolours, portraits or landscapes, abstract art or botanical illustration, Artists & Illustrators brings a refreshing blend of creativity and advice every four weeks throughout the year. (RBdigital description)

Guggenheim Museum Library Collection Released Online!

If you are one of the people who have felt the sudden and unexpected–though temporary–lack of access to Wellington Central libraries’ fantastic art book collection, then we have something to ease the pain: the world-renowned Guggenheim Museum Library’s free online resources!

The founder and creator of this museum was the American heiress and self-confessed art addict Peggy Guggenheim. Her support and patronage of 20th century modern artists placed her at the very centre of the modern art movement. She was a unique, colourful, larger than life personality.

This free resource has over 200 art works covering key artists such as Picasso, Rothko, Ernst and Kandinsky and art subjects as wide as Surrealism, pop, Aztec artefacts and Russian constructivism. Just click the link here to access this fabulous resource. Enjoy!

Also available at Wellington City Libraries:

Peggy Guggenheim : the shock of the modern / Prose, Francine
“A biography of one of twentieth century America’s most influential patrons of the arts that covers her personal life, uncompromising spirit, and relationships with such modern masters as Jackson Pollock and Man Ray.” (Catalogue)

 

 

The unfinished palazzo : life, love and art in Venice : the stories of Luisa Casati, Doris Castlerosse and Peggy Guggenheim / Mackrell, Judith
“The story of Venice’s ‘Unfinished Palazzo’–told through the lives of three of its most unconventional, passionate, and fascinating residents: Luisa Casati, Doris Castlerosse, and Peggy Guggenheim. Each vivid life story is accompanied by previously unseen materials from family archives, weaving an intricate history of these legendary art world eccentrics.” (Catalogue)

 

And The Fantastic Peggy Guggenheim : art addict. documentary film is also available to borrow from several of our branches . Click Here for full details.

Paint like a girl! – Art, History and Feminism

Madam & Eve book cover

As the world marches to the chant of “Girl Power!” and we bear witness to #MeToo, and as here in New Zealand we celebrate 125 years of Suffrage, we are observing a resurgence of feminism and watching as the waves of change filter across our perceptions, society and history. The world of art; ever the medium of visionaries, rebels, leaders and forward thinkers, has a hidden history that is fervently female. In this month’s recent picks, we invite you to open your minds and look at art through the eyes of feminism and equality. From fresh looks at art history, to records of important social movements, from local pioneers such as Elizabeth Lissaman, to looking at how women represent each other through art. Explore this special collection of new books that reflects these times and our changing perceptions.

Madam & Eve : women portraying women / Rideal, Liz
“How do women paint or photograph each other? How do they represent each other in performance or sculpture? Explore the female gaze as it focuses on other women, as an artist and a curator investigate the work of over 200 artists.  The result is an amazing parade of artworks: eye-catching, poignant, powerful, political, idiosyncratic, playful, awkward, passionate, sexy and positive. It is also an eloquent examination of the impact that the feminist movement has had on contemporary art.” (Catalogue)

Art unfolded : a history of art in four colours / Street, Ben
“Trace the history of art through 48 paintings and four colors. Blue: the color of the beyond and the divine. Red: the color of blood, purity and sensuality. Green: the color of new life, but also of sickness and death. Gold: the color of wealth, attributed to the things we value most. These four colors tell the history of art in a way that few other details can and  grant us access to fascinating stories, both of individual works of art and the world in which they were created.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

A mouth is always muzzled : six dissidents, five continents, and the art of resistance / Hopkinson, Natalie
“As people consider how to respond to a resurgence of racist, xenophobic populism, A Mouth Is Always Muzzled tells an extraordinary story of the ways art brings hope in perilous times. Weaving disparate topics from sugar and British colonialism to attacks on free speech and Facebook activism and traveling a jagged path across the Americas, Africa, India, and Europe, Hopkinson, argues that art is where the future is negotiated.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

A big important art book (now with women): profiles of unstoppable female artists–and projects to help you become one /Krysa, Danielle
“Walk into a museum, or open an art book, and you’ll probably be left wondering: where are all the women artists? This book offers an exciting alternative to this male-dominated art world, showcasing the work of contemporary women artists alongside creative prompts that will bring out the artist in anyone.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Ninth Street women : Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler : five painters and the movement that changed modern art / Gabriel, Mary
“Set amid the most turbulent social and political period of modern times, Ninth Street Women is the impassioned, wild, sometimes tragic, always exhilarating chronicle of five women who dared to enter the male-dominated world of twentieth-century abstract painting–not as muses but as artists.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Significant others : creativity & intimate partnership
“Biographies of artists and writers have traditionally presented an individual’s lone struggle for self-expression. In this book, critics and historians challenge these assumptions in a series of essays that focus on artist and writer couples who have shared sexual and artistic bonds. Featuring duos such as Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel, Sonia and Robert Delaunay, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, and Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverForms of enchantment : writings on art & artists / Marina Warner.
“Here, Warner captures the visual experience of the work of a diverse group of artists, with a notable focus on the inner lives of women, through an exploration of the range of stories and symbols to which they allude in their work. With illustrations of the works being described, Marina Warner’s writing unites the imagination of artist, writer, and reader, creating a reading experience that parallels the intrinsic pleasure of looking at art.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Reading art : art for book lovers / Trigg, David
“As every book tells a story, every book in art is part of an intriguing, engaging, and relatable image. Books are depicted as indicators of intellect in portraits, as symbols of piety in religious paintings, as subjects in still lifes, and as the raw material for contemporary installations. Reading Art spotlights artworks from museums and collections around the globe, creating a gorgeous, inspiring homage to both the written word and to its pivotal role in the visual world.” (Syndetics Summary)

All too human : Bacon, Freud and a century of painting life
“A new account of one of the most distinctive and fascinating chapters of modern British art: how artists have used painting to record their personal, sensuous and often intense experiences of life. Spanning a century, this history encompasses a diverse but related group of painters, who focused on the depiction of the human figure and the everyday landscape they inhabited. Despite their differences, they all shared a similarly intense and scrutinizing gaze, and remained loyal to their pursuit of intimate and powerful representations of reality.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverElizabeth Lissaman : New Zealand’s Pioneer Studio Potter
“Tracing the life and work of Elizabeth Lissaman OBE (1901-1991), Marlborough-born, Lissaman potted continuously for almost 70 years until 1990, spanning much of New Zealand’s twentieth-century studio pottery movement. This volume is illustrated with over 100 pieces of Lissaman’s pottery, selected from leading private and public collections, such as those from the Marlborough Museum who aim to ensure the legacy of Lissaman and that she may be celebrated as an icon of New Zealand Culture.” (Adapted Back Cover Summary)

Artistic perspectives of the past and the present: New books

Mikala Dwyer book cover

“No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.” ― Ansel Adams

And on that note, we encourage you to check out these latest books on perspectives of art and perhaps you too may reveal yourself, your perceptions and emotions and build confidence in your creative spirit.

Your art will save your life / Pickens, Beth
“Writing in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, Beth Pickens reminds burgeoning artists that their work is more important now than ever, and advises on fostering creativity, sustaining an innovative practice, and navigating institutional funding as an individual. Partially a self-help book, partially a political manifesto, Pickens combines practical advice for those seeking out a creative career while contextualising it for the current time.” (amazon.co.uk)

Looking at pictures / Woodford, Susan
“An accessible and attractive beginner’s guide to getting the most out of looking at pictures. Beautifully illustrated with some of the world’s greatest pictures, from cave paintings and Roman mosaics to Picasso and Damien Hirst, this affordable guide explains the art of looking at and understanding pictures, equipping the reader with the vision and tools to approach any museum picture with confidence.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

The museum of lost art / Charney, Noah
“From the bestselling author of The Art of Forgery comes this dynamic narrative that tells the fascinating stories of artworks stolen, looted, or destroyed in war, demolished or discarded, lost, or attacked by iconoclasts or vandals; works that were intentionally temporal, knowingly destroyed by the artists themselves or their patrons, covered over with paint or plaster, or recycled for their materials. An exciting read that spans the centuries and the continents.” (amazon.co.uk)

Mikala Dwyer : a shape of thought
“Mikala Dwyer creates engaging sculptures that explore ideas of shelter, childhood play, modernist design and the relationship between people and objects. Here, Dwyer co-opts both the everyday and the fabulous to transform four contemporary galleries – floating 150 silver balloons high above the gallery floor, installing an elaborate suspension of shapes held aloft by stockings, and building a large circular gathering that includes crystal-like Perspex structures.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Living with Leonardo : fifty years of sanity and insanity in the art world and beyond / Kemp, Martin
“Approaching the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death, Kemp recounts his fifty year journey with the work of the world’s most famous artist. We learn of his encounters with academics, collectors and curators, devious dealers and unctuous auctioneers, scholars and authors and pseudohistorians and fantasists; but also how he has grappled with swelling legions of ‘Leonardo loonies’.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Modern art / Dempsey, Amy
“Amy Dempsey unravels the all-too-often daunting language of modern art by mapping the styles, schools and movements that help us understand modern and contemporary art, from Impressionism in the 19th century to Destination Art in the 21st. Using a practical and easy-to-navigate structure, Dempsey’s lucid writing and carefully selected artworks define sixty-eight essential groupings in western modern art.” (Syndetics summary)

Keep Calm and Carry On: New art books

Bomberg

In our most recent art picks we invite you to “keep calm and carry on” appreciating art. Whether your interests lie in 20th century artists such as David Bomberg and Mark Dion, instructional books, recounts of the influences of art or evolutionary tales of Manga through comics, cartoons and animation, or a WW2 slogan, we have quite the selection for you.

Book Jacket for: Keep calm and carry on : the truth behind the posterKeep calm and carry on : the truth behind the poster / Lewis, Bex
“‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ has become one of the most recognizable slogans of the twenty-first century. But where is it from and why has it resonated so strongly with the modern British public? This book reveals the truth behind the now infamous poster, tracing its origins to the Second World War, when it was created to allay public panic in the event of a German invasion. Later seized upon as an encouragement in the economic crisis, ‘Keep Calm’ went on to become arguably the most successful meme in history.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Draw your weaponsDraw your weapons / Sentilles, Sarah
“A literary collage with hope at its core, Sentilles tells the true stories of Howard, a conscientious objector during World War II, and Miles, a former prison guard at Abu Ghraib, and in the process she challenges conventional thinking about how war is waged, witnessed, and resisted. The pacifist and the soldier both create art in response to war. Asking questions such as, what impact can one person have? And how should we respond to violence when it feels like it can’t be stopped?” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: BombergBomberg / MacDougall, Sarah
“This monograph on the influential 20th-century British artist David Bomberg (1890-1957) accompanies a major new exhibition curated by the authors. A comprehensive account, providing an informed and accessible overview of Bomberg’s career and achievements, combining a biographical narrative with an analytical and interpretative approach. Including new material relating to Bomberg’s Jewish background and sumptuous illustrations.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Mangasia : the definitive guide to Asian comicsMangasia : the definitive guide to Asian comics / Gravett, Paul
“An exhaustive and visually engaging account, Mangasia charts the evolution of manga from its roots in late nineteenth-century Japan through the many and varied forms of comics, cartoons and animation created throughout Asia for more than one hundred years. With infographics, maps, timelines, and reproductions from all across Asia, this book is the first to explain the significance of key themes, the meanings of embodied myths and the connections between various manga traditions.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: In celebration of Cecil Collins : visionary artist and educatorIn celebration of Cecil Collins : visionary artist and educator
“Cecil Collins is arguably one of the greatest English visionary artists since Blake and Palmer. With emblematic figures such as the Fool, and the Sibyl in extraordinary landscapes, Collins portrayed an original and inspiring philosophy of life. Recognized as belonging to the Neo-Romantic movement of poetical art, his dedication to depicting his mystic understanding made his work highly distinctive.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Mark Dion : misadventures of a 21st-century naturalistMark Dion : misadventures of a 21st-century naturalist / Erickson, Ruth
“Part of a generation of artists expanding institutional critique in the 1990s, Dion adopted the methods of the archaeologist or the natural history museum, juxtaposing natural objects, taxidermy, books, and more to reorganize the natural and the manmade in poetic, witty ways. Generously illustrated, this publication introduces new insights and features more than seventy-five artworks.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Ann Blockley's watercolour workshop : projects and interpretations.Ann Blockley’s watercolour workshop : projects and interpretations./ Blockley, A 
“Artist Ann Blockley is renowned for her innovative approach to watercolour painting. Her highly anticipated new book provides a series of workshops demonstrating how to push the boundaries of watercolour, using key techniques to develop your own work and take your paintings to the next level. Her beautiful and inspirational artworks demonstrate how different interpretations of a subject might take an unexpected or unusual direction, and how to make the most of these opportunities.” (Adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Book Jacket for: Wanted : the search for the modernist murals of E. Mervyn TaylorWanted : the search for the modernist murals of E. Mervyn Taylor
“The detective hunt for some of this country’s most important and beautiful murals. Mervyn Taylor was one of the most celebrated New Zealand artists of the 1930s to 1960s. He was highly connected to modernism and nationalism as it was expressed in the New Zealand art and literature of the period. This fascinating and beautiful book, bursting with archival material, details the detective hunt for his murals and tells the stories of their creation.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: The art of buying art : how to evaluate and buy art like a professional collectorThe art of buying art : how to evaluate and buy art like a professional collector / Bamberger, Alan S.
“This classic, since its original publication in 1990, has been revised to bring it completely up to date and make it internationally relevant. It now includes information on the internet (researching and buying directly from artists), global art fairs and the contemporary art world. Without a doubt the best and most readily understandable book on how to buy, sell, price, evaluate, appraise and collect artworks for any art buyer, not just collectors no previous knowledge of art or the art business is necessary.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Remembering Jonathan Mane-Wheoki

Artwork at entrance to Central LibraryA memorial is currently underway which remembers a well known Wellington figure Jonathan Mane-Wheoki. The project includes NZ artist Shannon Novak installing a small artwork in 10 locations around Wellington – 10 locations Jonathan frequented and supported. Wellington Central Library was identified as one of the locations, and the artwork is now installed on a glass panel in the Ground floor entrance area. The installation is called “Pieces at an Exhibition” (named after his favourite musical piece).

Jonathan Ngarimu Mane-Wheoki CNZM (8 December 1943 – 10 October 2014) was a New Zealand art historian, academic, and curator. Of Ngāpuhi, Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kurī and English descent, he was a pioneer in the study of contemporary Māori and Pacific art history. Jonathan invested much of his time and energy into the arts community in Wellington, including a stint as Director of Art and Collection services at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in 2004.

The library also has available a copy of Colonial Gothic to Māori renaissance : essays in memory of Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, edited by Conal McCarthy & Mark Stocker, which was recently launched by Victoria University Press.

What’s coming up at the library?

iStock_000011521486Small
Our events calendar is boiling over at the moment, here’s a list to help you keep on top of what’s coming up over the next fortnight. All events are free and all are welcome. Our usual Pre-School Story Times, Book Clubs and Baby Rock ‘n’ Rhyme sessions are all still happening too.

Thursday May 22nd

Amiria Grenell – Central 12pm
Wellington Musician Amiria Grenell performs free over the lunch hour in celebration of New Zealand Music Month.

Poetic Voices of Africa – Central at 6pm

Come and join us for an evening of African poetry with Poetic Voices of Africa. A line-up of six African poets from Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan, and American poets from Georgia, Hawaii and Washington DC will come together to perform their poetry in the lead up to the Africa Day celebrations on 24 May. The session will be introduced and concluded with a drum performance from Sam Manzanza.

Friday May 23rd

Andy Gibson – Central 5pm
Wellington Musician Andy Gibson performs free in celebration of New Zealand Music Month.
Free Art Workshop – Newtown 6pm
Wellington Artist Marg Elliot shares her drawing knowledge in this one hour workshop.
Harriet And The Matches – Newtown 7pm
A late-night double feature at Newtown, Wellington Musicians Amiria Grenell and Jessie Moss reunite their band a free, one-off performance.

Monday May 26th

John McIntyre presents a session on Reluctant Readers – Cummings Park (Ngaio) 6:30pm
Children’s book commentator and Kilbirnie’s Children’s Book Shop owner John McIntyre returns to our Westrern Libraries to present this session on how to get your reluctant readers onto the books.

Tuesday May 27th

Kōhunga Kōrero – Whāngaia tō Tama Toa ki te pānui pukapuka – Miramar at 9:30
Pre-school Story Time in Te Reo Māori.

Thursday May 29th

Maika – Central 12pm
Wellington Musician Mahinarangi Maika performs as Maika for free over the lunch hour in celebration of New Zealand Music Month.

Friday May 30th

Free Art Workshop – Newtown 6pm
Wellington Artist Marg Elliot shares her knowledge of shading, tone and texture in this free one hour drawing skills workshop.

Gordon Crook 1921 – 2011

Gordon Crook was born in England, and taught textile design at London’s Central School of Art. He came to New Zealand in 1972, where his art flourished. In 1979 he was commisioned to create 20 enormous banners for the New Zealand embassy in Washington, and a few years later made the banners that still hang in the entrance of the Michael Fowler Centre. In the decades that followed, his art – textiles, prints, paintings and collages – was exhibited throughout the country. Te Papa, who own some of his works, has a more detailed biography online here.

We hold a number of items that relate to Gordon Crook:

Gordon Crook : A Life of Art, is a a documentary from 2011 that looks at his life and his art. I personally recommend it.
Gordon Crook [Kaleidoscope]; this is a recording on VHS of the 1987 Kaleid0scope episode about his life, art, and philosophy.
Catelogue of an Exhibition of Tapestries and Drawings Based on the Theme of Adam and Eve (1978). Reference copy only.
Gordon Crook, by the Brooker Gallery. This was published in 1993, and is only 62 pages long, but is a very good collection of biographical articles and reproductions of Crook’s work.

Gordon Crook passed away on the 26th of August. In addition to being one of Wellington’s best artists, he was also a regular library user. He came in daily and was a friend to many library staff members; he will be sorely missed.