Jim Allen

b. 1922d. 2023

Also known as:

  • W. R. Allen
  • William Robert Allen

Jim Allen was born in Wellington. After serving in the Second World War, he undertook art studies at Perugia University and Instituto d’Arte Florence, Italy. He was awarded a Diploma of Fine Arts from Canterbury University in 1948 and three years later, was made an Associate of the Royal College of Art, London.

From 1953 to 1959 he worked for the New Zealand Department of Education as field officer to the Northern Māori Experimental Art Project. Subsequently he held a position as liaison organiser to secondary schools.

In 1960, Allen joined the staff at Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, as an Associate Professor. His influence in this role has been recognised as transformational for both sculpture within the school and for contemporary art in New Zealand. From 1977 to 1987 he was the founding head of the School of Art at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.

See also:

Jim Allen, ‘Transitions’ (1967), Burns Arts Building, Main Campus, University of Otago, North Dunedin, Ōtepoti Dunedin

Images: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2021