b. 1920d. 1979
Molly Morell Macalister was born in Invercargill and enrolled at the Canterbury University College School of Art in February 1938. There she was drawn to the teaching of Francis Shurrock in the modelling department. She assisted Shurrock to prepare sculptural reliefs for the Education Court at the 1939–40 New Zealand Centennial Exhibition (Wellington) and won the sculpture prize in her final year.
Macalister moved to Auckland in 1943. She was a founding member of the New Zealand Society of Sculptors and Associates (1961) and honorary life member from 1979. Macalister is recognised as a leading instigator of Auckland's 1971 International Sculpture Symposium.
Her public commissions include ‘Maori Warrior’ (1964) in Auckland’s Queen Street and ‘Little Bull’ (1967) in Hamilton Gardens. Among other works of this period are stone carvings for the ark in the new Auckland synagogue (1968), and a bust of John A. Lee for the Auckland Public Library (1967).