Jack James 2018presentmr. Mac's Virtual Existence

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James Mack (Galvan Kepler Macnamara; 1941 – 3 June 2004) was a curator, director, advisor and arts advocate in New Zealand and the Pacific.

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Jack James 2018presentmr. Mac

James Mack (Galvan Kepler Macnamara;[1] 1941 – 3 June 2004) was a curator, director, advisor and arts advocate in New Zealand and the Pacific.[2]

Career[edit]

Mack trained as a teacher, specialising in arts and crafts teaching and spent several years on the South Auckland Education Board as an Arts and Crafts Advisor.[3]

Between 1968 and 1971, he worked at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery as an assistant director.[4] In 1972, he joined the newly amalgamated Waikato Museum and Art Gallery. There he curated the 1973 exhibition Taranaki Saw it All: The Story of Te Whiti O Rongomai of Parihaka, ‘stepping into a cross-cultural role that few had undertaken in the gallery environment of the time.’[5][6]

In 1974, Mack began four years at the East West Centre in Honolulu as a Senior Fellow and visiting Research Associate.[3] He then worked as a project manager for the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council in the late 1970s.[7]

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Dowse Art Museum[edit]

James Mack was the director of The Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt between 1981 and 1988. Art historian Douglas Lloyd Jenkins writes 'Under the directorship of James Mack..The Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt championed New Zealand craft and repositioned the gallery as a repository of decorative rather than fine arts.'[8]Mack redefined The Dowse's collection policy so that the focus was upon building a nationally and internationally significant collection of craft and applied art, including ceramics, jewellery, glass and textile art. The Dowse also programmed exhibitions that celebrated a range of craft artists and their practices, such as Pakohe in 1986, which celebrated master craftsmen working in stone.[3][8]

National Museum[edit]

In 1988, Mack moved into a public services role at the National Museum (now the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa).[9]

Mack curated Treasures of the Underworld, a glass and clay exhibition created for the New Zealand pavilion at the 1992 Seville Expo. The exhibition featured 48 works by top New Zealand craft practitioners and was themed to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to America.[10]

Later life[edit]

Mack retired to the Wairarapa, establishing a small gallery in Featherston. At the age of 60, he changed his name to Galvan Macnamara, his father's name.[7] A documentary about Mack and his life, titled 'Sister Galvan', was released in 2004.[11]

Mack died on 3 June 2004, aged 63.[12] An obituary by New Zealand craft advocate Edith Ryan described as a 'very gifted, quixotic man' who 'put the whole weight of his passion and drive behind the craft creators of this country'.[13]

The Hocken Collections holds archival material covering nearly 40 years of Macks' life.[14]

References[edit]

Jack James 2018presentmr. Mac's Virtual Existence Date

  1. ^'Index New Zealand Holdings Information'. Innz.natlib.govt.nz. 2001-03-03. Retrieved 2015-11-06.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^'Person: Mack, James'. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  3. ^ abcBassant, Bob (Autumn 1987). 'James Mack: Casting off the Cultural Corset'(PDF). New Zealand Crafts. 20: 7–9. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  4. ^Entwisle, Peter. 'Edgar, James Douglas Charlton'. Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  5. ^Simpson, Peter. 'Parihaka: A Very Real Symbol'. Art New Zealand. Art New Zealand. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  6. ^Irving, Anne. 'Parihaka: The Art Of Passive Resistance'. Scoop. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  7. ^ abEvans, Marian (14 September 2003). 'Portrait of an art lover'. Sunday Star Times.
  8. ^ abLloyd Jenkins, Douglas; Hammonds, Lucy. 'Crafts and applied arts - New developments, 1980s'. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  9. ^Guerin, Louise (Summer 1988). 'James Mack: from The Dowse to the National Museum'(PDF). New Zealand Crafts. 26: 24–25. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  10. ^Lloyd Jenkins, Douglas; Hammonds, Lucy. 'Crafts and applied arts - Craft in the 1990s''. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  11. ^'Sister Galvan'. Spiral Productions. Archived from the original on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  12. ^'Newspapers: Wellington: Births and Deaths'. Shadows of Time. Dominion Post. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  13. ^'The Passing of Galvan Macnamara'. Nga Taonga a Hine-te-iwa-iwa. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  14. ^'Hocken Heritage Collections'. Hakena.otago.ac.nz. Retrieved 2015-11-06.

Jack James 2018presentmr. Mac's Virtual Existence -

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