Arnold Manaaki Wilson

b. 1928d. 2012

Arnold Manaaki Wilson is of Ngāi Tuhoe and Ngāti Tarawhai decent. Born and raised in Ruatoki, Wilson studied at the University of Auckland, Elam School of Fine Arts, graduating in 1955. Wilson went on to teach in the Bay of Islands and Auckland, later directing Te Mauri Pakeaka art programme for the Ministry of Education. Along with Paratene Matchitt, Fred Graham, Muru Walters and Katerina Mataira, Wilson was employed and trained by influential education leader Gordon Tovey.

Wilson received a number of honours and awards in his lifetime including becoming a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2010.

"Wilson was a key figure in the school of non-traditional Māori carving that arose in the 1960s. In 1955 he became the first Māori to graduate from Auckland's Elam School of Arts. Together with contemporaries such as Ralph Hōtere, Para Matchitt and Selwyn Muru, Wilson engaged with international movements in modern art to develop new forms and functions for Māori carving and other media."

~ cited from Brett Graham, 'Whakairo – Māori carving - Carving in urban environments', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand.

See also:

Arnold Wilson (Ngāi Tuhoe, Ngāti Tarawhai), ‘Kai a te Rangatira’ (1990), Archives New Zealand Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington

Image: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2022