Doreen Blumhardt, born 1914, is one of New Zealand’s foremost potters and has worked as a ceramicist and arts educator for 70 years. She is considered to be a pioneer of art education and was head of the Art Department of Wellington College of Education for over 20 years.
She is represented in many New Zealand and overseas galleries and institutions including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Museo Gaccia in Switzerland. She has held solo exhibitions, including several at The Dowse Art Gallery in Lower Hutt in 1976 and her 50 year retrospective exhibition at the Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington in 1991. She hand decorated 2,500 ceramic tiles depicting the Aurora Australis for the Admiral Byrd Memorial Wall in 1992.
She has held many lectures, encouraged international potters to present workshops in New Zealand, and completed numerous articles and publications on craft, including New Zealand Potters: Their Work and Words and Craft New Zealand, the Art of the Craftsman in 1981 which won the Watties Book of the Year award.
In 2003, she set up the Blumhardt Foundation, which was established to foster, support, collect, and display the best examples of decorative arts and design in New Zealand. The Blumhardt Foundation achieves its aims through many channels, including assisting artists through their professional development by providing learning opportunities through workshops and demonstrations with leading overseas practitioners. Every year, The Blumhardt Foundation, The Dowse Art Museum, and Creative New Zealand offer a Cultural Internship, providing opportunities for artists to nurture curatorial interest and expertise in the areas of decorative arts and design.
Citation prepared 2006