A group of community-minded men had an initial meeting in late June 1880 to discuss how to organise and promote art within Canterbury.
They felt that the rapidly growing centre of Christchurch needed some form of cultural organisation, and Auckland and Dunedin already had Art Societies.
A sub-committee of three was elected to draft up the proposed rules for a Canterbury Society of Arts. On the 8th of July a General meeting was held at the Christchurch Public Library and the Rules of the Canterbury Society of Arts were approved. The Society had the aim of “…spreading a love of artistic work through the community” and the first exhibition was organised and held in early 1881.
The Annual Exhibition opening nights soon became the highlight of the social calendar which included music and entertainment. You can view some of the early Canterbury Society of Arts catalogues that we have digitised.
Over the years the Society developed and built a permanent collection, held regular programmes and events, faced social and financial difficulties, courted controversy, expanded their mandate from just fine art to include arts and crafts and (eventually) accepted contemporary styles. They acquired permanent space and moved, and completely re-invented themselves.
1980 marked the 100th anniversary of the Canterbury Society of Arts which resulted in an exhibition at the Christchurch Art Gallery and a catalogue with a history of the society. The catalogue for the 100th anniversary exhibition of the Society in 1980 can be accessed online.
The school holidays are fast approaching and I have to keep my children entertained for two weeks, oh please help me!! I have actually come up with a plan, so I thought I would share it in case you need help too.
KidsFest – thank goodness someone thought of the parents! I will book children into lots of fun activities and sweet talk their Grandparents into taking them.
Send them outside to play in the freezing cold so I will have heaps of washing to do because it is so muddy (You should see them after football – the mud club).
Put them in front of screens. I know it sounds bad, but hear me out on this one. No playing pointless games with some random character wandering around eating pizza (I think that is what my children were playing). I will set them up with educational activities from the library eResources for kids, they may even enjoy it too!
Give them something to read or listen to – but with a difference. eBook or eAudiobook, or even eMagazine. My kids have just discovered eAudiobooks and love them. It is brilliant – they are so quiet, especially in the back of the car where they would usually fight. OverDrive and Borrowbox have a great selection and it was super easy to download to an iPod shuffe.