Stewart Bell Maclennan was the first Director of New Zealand’s National Art Gallery, and the first full-time professional director of a public art gallery in New Zealand. In 1958 he spent six months in Europe and America, visiting galleries and museums to gather ideas. At home in Wellington his wife and four children eagerly awaited his letters, following his progress with coloured flags on a map on the lounge wall.
His daughter, Mary Bell Thornton, has now put together a delightful collection of the letters to and from Stewart and his family – including some of the sketches he made while travelling. A frank and intimate record of the art world of the 1950s, and packed with humour.