11 Oct 2014

Prominent NZ art historian dies

6:56 pm on 11 October 2014

Prominent New Zealand art curator and art historian Jonathan Mane-Wheoki has died.

Jonathan Mane-Wheoki and an Ian Scott lithograph.

Jonathan Mane-Wheoki and an Ian Scott lithograph. Photo: RNZ

He was terminally ill with pancreatic cancer and died peacefully at Mercy Hospice in Auckland last night, with his sister and partner by his side.

A requiem mass will be held in the Holy Trinity Cathedral, before his body is taken for its tangi and burial in Northland.

Prof Mane-Wheoki had been a strong voice in the fields of art history, architecture, fine arts education and writing.

He was especially noted as a pioneer in the development of contemporary Maori and Pacific art and art history.

Prof Mane-Wheoki was most recently a professor of fine arts at Auckland University and the head of art at Te Papa.

He was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the arts in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours and was just awarded a medal as Companion of the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

His colleague and friend, Deidre Brown, an associate professor at Auckland University, said Prof Mane-Wheoki had been a major figure in the development of the country's art and art history.

She said he will have a continuous influence on the dozens he mentored.