Doreen Blumhardt

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Dame Doreen Blumhardt
Born Vera Doreen Blumhardt
(1914-03-07)7 March 1914
Whangarei, New Zealand
Died 17 October 2009(2009-10-17) (aged 95)
Wellington, New Zealand
Known for Pottery, education, publishing
Awards CBE (1981)
DCNZM (2003)
Member of the Order of New Zealand (2007)
DNZM (2009)

Dame Vera Doreen Blumhardt ONZ DNZM CBE (7 March 1914 – 17 October 2009) was a New Zealand potter, ceramicist and arts educator.


A pioneer of art education and head of the Art Department of Wellington College of Education for over 20 years, Blumhardt's works are included in many overseasgalleries and institutions, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Museo Gaccia in Switzerland as well as in her home nation of New Zealand. She completed publications on craft, including New Zealand Potters: Their Work and Words and Craft New Zealand, the Art of the Craftsman (1981), which won the Watties Book of the Year award.[citation needed] Along with Helen Mason she founded and ran the magazine New Zealand Potter (1958–98).[1]

In 2003, Blumhardt founded the Blumhardt Foundation to foster, support, collect, and display the best examples of decorative arts and design in New Zealand. Every year, the Foundation, The Dowse Art Museum, and Creative New Zealand offer a Cultural Internship, providing opportunities for artists to nurture curatorial interest and expertise in the areas of decorative arts and design.


In the 1981 New Year Honours, Blumhardt was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to art, especially pottery.[2]

She was appointed a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to pottery and art education in the 2003 New Year Honours.[3] She was made a Member of the Order of New Zealand in the 2007 New Year Honours.[4]

In 2009, two months before her death, she accepted redesignation as a Dame Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit following the restoration of titular honours by the New Zealand government.[5]


Dame Vera Doreen Blumhardt died on 17 October 2009, aged 95.[6]


  1. ^ "New Zealand Potter". National Library of New Zealand Catalogue. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  2. ^ London Gazette (supplement), No. 48469, 31 December 1980. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  3. ^ New Year Honours List 2003. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; retrieved 1 June 2013.
  4. ^ New Year Honours List 2007. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; retrieved 1 June 2013.
  5. ^ Special Honours List, 1 August 2009. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; retrieved 1 June 2013.
  6. ^ Dates of birth and death of Dame Doreen Blumhardt,; accessed 16 July 2015.

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