Art New Zealand

Michael Nicholson 1916–2017

With an engineer father and an armament-manufacturing uncle, Michael Nicholson might well have been earmarked for a life spent down at the pragmatic end of human affairs. But then again he was a Nicholson, nephew of the painter William and a younger cousin of one of the most feted British artists of the twentieth century, Ben Nicholson.

His early years in a typically English boarding school, and then on active military service, left Michael feeling, as he told Pat Baskett, ‘looking a bit straighter up and down’ than he felt. However, he emerged sufficiently unscathed to enrol, post-war, in the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, then teach at the Central School of

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