Artist Profile

William George Baker

Born 1864, Died 1929

Born in Wellington, William George Baker was a second generation New Zealander, his grandfather having come to New Zealand aboard the 'Lady Nugent' in 1840. He attended school in Wellington and originally worked as an upholsterer. Although there is no mention of any art training he began exhibiting in 1883 firstly with the Fine Arts Association and then the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts 1884-1904. His work was also seen at the Otago Arts Society from 1893-1898, the New Zealand Industrial Exhibition in 1885 and the St Louis Exposition USA 1904.

At the turn of the century he became a professional artist, touring the country seeking suitable subjects and painting a great deal in the Wairarapa and the Southern Lakes District.

Up until 1902 he had painted only in oils but after this he also painted in watercolours exhibiting at agricultural shows and holding auctions of his works in various towns. He lived the last 30 years of his life in Titahi Bay.

W G Baker is represented in the permanent collections of the Canterbury Museum the McDougall Gallery and the Turnbull and Hocken Libraries.

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Ferner Key