Now well into his nineties and in frail health, Douglas MacDiarmid has passed responsibility to protect and preserve his creative vision over to younger family members.
This is done through the MacDiarmid Arts Trust, a New Zealand registered not-for-profit trust, established in 2016 by three direct descendants with legal sanction to manage Douglas’ interests as appropriate.
The trust was registered on 5th July 2016, initially as a functional platform to manage publication of Douglas MacDiarmid’s life and times biography Colours of a Life, by Anna Cahill, and its associated website development and social media activities.
Since it was set up, Douglas asked the trust to take care of his creative interests by managing copyright and reproduction matters on his behalf, as well as looking after correspondence, and fulfilling all requests for art and biographical information.
Goal No 1, his biography project, was accomplished in July 2018 when the finely illustrated book, produced by Mary Egan Publishing, Auckland, was launched at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery in Wellington, with a supporting exhibition, and a week later in Auckland at the James Wallace Art Trust’s The Pah Homestead art centre at Hillsborough.
Our trust is now recognised in the New Zealand arts community as a champion of Douglas’ work for the enjoyment and appreciation of present and future generations of art lovers, and go-to provider of accurate information on all things MacDiarmid.
Along with identifying and compiling as comprehensive a register of Douglas’ prolific painting output as possible, the trust is gradually describing individual works in public and private collections, drawing from the wealth of detail gathered during the research for his life story. Public galleries are being encouraged to digitise their MacDiarmid holdings so these paintings are more readily accessible to the community.
With the help of the International ISBN Agency, the trust has been assigned retrospective international standard book numbers add for an earlier art history book, MacDiarmid by Dr Nelly Finet, published in English and French language editions in 2002. Adding stickers bearing the unique numeric identification number to this companion volume to Douglas’ biography will make it more ‘discoverable’ for public and specialist libraries as a valuable reference and research source.
Looking ahead, the MacDiarmid Arts Trust has wider educational goals to raise the profile of Douglas MacDiarmid as an exceptional post-war talent, and to give back to the creative sector. Other MacDiarmid-related publication projects are being considered in the future….watch this space!
It is always exhilarating when unseen painting images come to light. We look forward to letters and emails from anyone with photographs of their paintings, art information, anecdotes about Douglas, or details of how they came to own one (or more) of his works. Even just to let us know what you like (or don’t like) about Douglas’ work and website, and what you would like to see more, or less, of.
For all inquiries, requests, comments, or personal messages to Douglas, leave a message on the website or write to the MacDiarmid Arts Trust, PO Box 5220, Daisy Hill, QLD 4127, Australia.
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