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Melvin Day: A Modernist Perspective

22 June - 6 October 2019

Free entry

In late 2015, Melvin N Day, then in his 92nd year, decided he would like to leave a significant group of his paintings to Waikato Museum as a legacy to Hamilton, the city of his birth.  Sadly, Melvin died in January 2016 before his wish could be realised but later that year, the executors of the late artist’s estate followed his intent and gifted Waikato Museum 60 works spanning nearly 80 years of Day’s painting practice.

Melvin Day: A Modernist Perspective presents the most extensive selection of Day’s paintings ever to be exhibited at one time. The majority of works will be drawn from the Day gift in Waikato Museum’s collection supplemented by loans from major public institutions and private lenders.

Visitors to this exhibition will begin their exploration of Day’s life-long art practice looking at works on paper dating back to his early teenage years while a part-time student at Elam School of Fine Art, Auckland. These will be followed chronologically by key paintings from each successive decade, concluding with large modernist landscapes of Fiordland painted just a few years before his death.

Curated by Mark Hutchins-Pond.

Education programmes are available for this exhibition. 


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Image: Still Life with Fruit and Chalice, 1955, Melvin Day. Collection of Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato. Artwork conservation treatment funded by Waikato Decorative & Fine Arts Society