The estate of Toss Woollaston

CHRONOLOGY

1910
Mountford Tosswill Woollaston born at Huinga in Taranaki.

1928
Moves to Riwaka and works on an orchard. Begins painting in watercolours.

1929
Returns to Taranaki; odd jobbing, drawing, and painting occasional watercolours.

1930
Fruit picking at Mapua. Lessons with Hugh Scott.

1931
Spends two terms at Canterbury College School of Art. Meets Ursula Bethell. Impressed by the work of R. N. Field at the 1931 Group exhibition.

1932
Visits Taranaki; returns to Mapua. Travels to Dunedin to study under R. N. Field, but returns to Mapua after two terms.

1933
Mapua; then to New Plymouth in an unsuccessful attempt to establish himself as an art teacher.

1934
Returns to Mapua for another fruit picking season. Meets Flora Scales and copies her lecture notes.
Begins to build his mud-brick house.

1936
First one-person exhibition in Dunedin. Marries Edith Alexander; meets Colin McCahon. Guest exhibitor in the annual Group exhibition.

1937
Worked illustrated in Art in New Zealand. Visits Wellington, stays with T. A. McCormack and paints Wellington from his studio window. Colin McCahon and Rodney Kennedy stay at Mapua for the fruit picking season. The Woollastons’ first child, Joe, is born.

1938
Exhibits with The Group. Attends life drawing classes at Canterbury College School of Art. Meets Charles Brasch. Debates the role of the artist in the journal Tomorrow. Publishes “The Origin of Beauty and the Function of Appearance” in Art in New Zealand.

1939
Participates in a group exhibition at 53 Murphy Street, Wellington.

1940
Obtains permanent employment on a local orchard, thus exempting him from military service. Visited by Woollaston’s uncle, Frank Tosswill. Paul Woollaston is born.

1942
Colin and Anne McCahon settle at Pangatotara, near Motueka. Anna Woollaston is born.

1943
Charlotte Woollaston dies.

1944
Philip Woollaston is born.

1948
Ron O’Reilly organises Woollaston retrospective exhibition at the Wellington Public library.

1949
Woollaston becomes a Rawleigh’s salesman in Greymouth. Helen Hitchings organises the McCahon/Woollaston exhibition in Wellington.

1950
In the early 1950s Woollaston begins occasional tutoring for the Adult Education Service.

1954
Exhibits at the Architectural Centre Gallery, Wellington.

1955
Financial anxieties prompt Woollaston to consider giving up painting.

1958
Awarded the New Zealand Art Societies Annual Fellowship, and travels to Australia. Exhibits in Melbourne and Sydney.

1959
Exhibits at Gallery 91, Christchurch.

1960
Paints full time for a few months in the Takaka district. Exhibits at the Centre Gallery, Wellington.
Writes his short autobiography, The Far-away Hills.

1961
Awarded a New Zealand Government Arts Council Grant. Exhibits at Durham Street Gallery, Christchurch.

1962
Travels to Europe and the United States.

1963
The Auckland City Art Gallery’s Woollaston-McCahon Retrospective exhibition tours New Zealand.
Woollaston exhibits at the Ikon Gallery, Auckland.

1964
Exhibits at the Centre Gallery, Wellington

1965
Exhibits at the Barry Lett Galleries, Auckland.

1966
Published Erua. Resolves to paint full-time.

1968
Woollaston has his first exhibition at the Peter McLeavey Gallery in Wellington. Moves to Riwaka.

1971
Commences painting large panoramic landscapes.

1973
A major retrospective exhibition: M. T. Woollaston Works/1933-1973 is toured by the Manawatu Art Gallery.

1978
Awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council grant.

1979
Made a Knight Bachelor.

1980
Publishes Sage Tea – An Autobiography.

1985
The exhibition 51 Woollaston Drawings and Watercolours is toured by the Bishop Suter Art Gallery.

1987
Visits Spain, England and the United States with Peter McLeavey. Edith Woollaston dies.

1990
Woollaston turns eighty. The exhibition Woollaston: Wellington Works is shown at the New Zealand Centre for Photography.

1991
Woollaston’s fifteenth exhibition at the Peter McLeavey Gallery.

1998
Toss Woollaston dies.