Sir Toss Woollaston
Mountford Tosswill Woollaston
11 April 1910
Toko, Taranaki, New Zealand
|Died||30 August 1998 (aged 88)|
Upper Moutere, New Zealand
Edith Winifred Alexander
(m. 1936; died 1987)
|Relatives||Philip Woollaston (son)|
Anna Caselberg (daughter)
John Caselberg (son-in-law)
Born in Toko, Taranaki in 1910, Woollaston attended primary school at Stratford, and Stratford Technical High School. He studied art at the Canterbury School of Art in Christchurch. One of his teachers at the Canterbury School of Art was Margaret Stoddart. He became interested in modernism after moving to Dunedin to study with R N Field.
In 1934 he settled at Mapua, near Nelson, and married Edith Alexander two years later. They became part of a circle of local artists and writers which included Colin McCahon. After World War II the Woollastons moved to Greymouth, and the landscape of the West Coast became a major feature in his art.
It was only from the 1960s that Woollaston was able to paint full-time; previously he had taken numerous part-time jobs to support himself and his family.
As well as painting, Woollaston wrote, poetry in particular having been a lifelong passion. His books included The Far-away Hills in 1960, and Sage Tea (his autobiography) in 1980.
- Barnett, Gerald. "Woollaston, Mountford Tosswill". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
- Dawson, Bee (1999). Lady painters : the flower painters of early New Zealand. Auckland, New Zealand: Viking. p. 123. ISBN 0670886513.
- "No. 47871". The London Gazette (3rd supplement). 16 June 1979. p. 27.