Story: Crafts and applied arts

May Smith fabric, 1950s

May Smith fabric, 1950s

Textile designer May Smith was one of the early proponents of a modernist aesthetic in New Zealand crafts. She was born in India in 1907 and immigrated to New Zealand with her family in 1921. She attended the Elam School of Art in Auckland from 1924 to 1928 and then moved to London to further her studies, where she was exposed to emerging modernism. Smith came back to New Zealand in 1939 and worked as a professional textile designer. This block print on linen dates from the 1950s.

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Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira
Reference: 1994.18, T1552-c

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How to cite this page:

Douglas Lloyd Jenkins and Lucy Hammonds, 'Crafts and applied arts - Old and new aesthetics, 1930s and 1940s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/object/45279/may-smith-fabric-1950s (accessed 14 June 2021)

Story by Douglas Lloyd Jenkins and Lucy Hammonds, published 22 Oct 2014