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Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists: A Guide & Handbook

HODGKINS, William Mathew 1839–1898

HODGKINS, William Mathew 1839–1898

Born Liverpool, said to have lived some time in Paris. Arrived Melbourne 1859, in Dunedin 1860; practised as a barrister and solicitor. Apparently knew London art collections well and became artistic leader in Dunedin circles, forming a private Art Club. Was one of the founders of the OAS in 1876 and its President 1880–97; organised the building of Dunedin's first Art Gallery. He was a prolific watercolourist and his work was known throughout New Zealand and Australia. His own circle was of the more conventional part time artists but he himself was paid a tribute by the Bohemian and younger A. H. O'Keeffe. Hodgkins was a man they all looked up to, “ever willing with a word of kindly advice” not taken in by “tripe” that some produced and ever keen, if he saw merit, to help a sale. Exhibited: OAS 1876–97; NZ and South Seas Ex Dunedin 1889–90; Centennial Ex, Melbourne 1888–89, his work including 20 watercolour sketches painted for the Union Steamship Co Ltd. Work included in Centennial Ex Wtn 1940. Represented in major New Zealand galleries, Turnbull and Hocken.