W.M. Hodgkins in his study at his home, ‘Cranmore’
Hocken Pictorial Collection, Box-015-003
William Hodgkins (c.1833–1898) arrived in Dunedin in 1862, the same year as his good friend Dr Hocken. Although called to the bar in 1868, it was his love for art that has had lasting influence. As an organiser of the Fine Arts Exhibition in Dunedin in 1869, he came to realise the need for a public art gallery. In 1875, he formed the Otago Art Society, and started collecting paintings. On 14 October 1884, the Council passed a resolution that established the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, the first of its kind in New Zealand. Hodgkins also painted, and his daughter was the well-known artist, Frances Hodgkins.
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