E. Mervyn Taylor
Ernest Mervyn Taylor (1906–1964) was a notable New Zealand engraver, commercial artist and publisher. He was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1906 but primarily lived and worked in Wellington, New Zealand until his sudden death at the age of 58.
Taylor completed a number of murals towards the end of his career. Information is varied on the current status of these works: some are known to be intact, some have been boarded over, some are in need of restoration work, and the fate of others is simply unknown. These works are currently the subject of a Massey University College of Creative Arts research project, the E. Mervyn Taylor mural search & recovery project.
List of murals
|Original Location||Architects||Mural title||Medium||Dimensions||Image||Artist||Date||Current Location||Notes||Heritage listed|
New Zealand Meat Board Directors' Room, Massey House, 126-132 Lambton Quay
|Plischke & Firth||Carved totara panel||E. Mervyn Taylor||c. 1957||Unknown|
War Memorial Hall, 69 Main St
|Sandblasted glass windows||E. Mervyn Taylor||1957||In situ|
Khandallah Presbyterian Church, 27 Ganges Rd, Khandallah
|The Ascension||Sandblasted glass windows||E. Mervyn Taylor||1959||In situ|
Post Office, 122 Queen St
|Early Settlers||Ceramic tiles||4400 x 4400 mm||E. Mervyn Taylor||1960||Hidden behind a wall||Masterton District Council|
War Memorial Hall, Museum & Library, 1 Ariki St
|Edgar Collins||Sandblasted glass window||E. Mervyn Taylor||1960||In situ (site now known as Puke Ariki)|
Post Office, Cnr Gill and Currie Sts
|Edgar Collins||Sandblasted glass atrium ceiling||Estimated at up to 8000 x 8000 mm||E. Mervyn Taylor||c. 1960||In situ, but partially covered and difficult to view (site now occupied by ANZ Banking Group)|
War Memorial Stadium Hall of Memories, 2 Dixon St, North Masterton
|Lest We Forget||Ceramic tiles||E. Mervyn Taylor||1960-61/1966||In situ|
Centennial Library, 212 Marine Parade
|Porter & Martin (A.A.)||Painted wall partition, using a PVA matt latex paint from Resene||E. Mervyn Taylor||c. 1961||Unknown|
Entrance foyer, Soil Bureau, 182 Eastern Hutt Rd, Taita
|Porter & Martin (A.A.)||First Kumera Planting||Painting directly on concrete wall, using a PVA matt latex paint from Resene||E. Mervyn Taylor||1962||Unknown. Site now occupied by The Learning Connexion art institution.|
Entrance foyer (assumed), National Mutual Life Assurance Building, 153 Featherston St
|Gray, Young, Morton & Calder||Painting directly on wall||E. Mervyn Taylor||1963||Unknown. Site now occupied by the Ibis Hotel.|
COMPAC building, 1 Akoranga Drive, Northcote
|Te Ika-a-Māui||Ceramic tiles||Approx. 2625mm (height) x 3430mm (width)||E. Mervyn Taylor||1962||Removed from original location, undergoing restoration. Property of Spark NZ.|
Entrance foyer of Broadcasting House
|Supervising architect: Gordon Wilson (Government Architect)||Time and Space||Wooden carved panel, carved from one plank of kauri||1850 x 800 mm||E. Mervyn Taylor||1963||Radio NZ boardroom, Radio New Zealand House, 155 The Terrace|
Cable Price Downer House, 108 The Terrace (also referred to as 106-110)
|Orchiston, Power & Associates||Industry||Ceramic tiles||E. Mervyn Taylor||1964||Unknown||Site now Berl House.|
Expanded information on individual murals
Taita Soil Bureau, "First Kumera Planting"
One of his commissions was a mural at the Taitā headquarters of Soil Bureau depicting cloaked figure using a kō (Māori digging stick). In the short film "Pictorial Parade No. 128", produced in 1962 by the National Film Unit, Taylor can be seen discussing the mural with Mr. Normal Taylor (Director of the Soil Bureau), and subsequently painting it. Wall mural – painted in situ for the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR)’s Soil Building in Taita.
COMPAC Building, "Te Ika-a-Māui"
The mural was commissioned by the New Zealand Government to mark the 1962 completion of the Tasman leg of the Commonwealth Pacific Cable (COMPAC) – a huge underwater telephone cable system that connected New Zealand to its Commonwealth allies in the aftermath of World War Two. The mural was originally housed in the COMPAC landing station in Auckland. In 2014 this mural was discovered by artist Bronwyn Holloway-Smith. The work was brought to public attention once again through her project Te Ika-a-Akoranga.
- Bound to be noticed[permanent dead link]; Dominion post, 24 Nov 2007; sup.p. 20.
- The renaissance man of Karori[permanent dead link]; New Zealand Geographic, Sep/Oct 2007; n.87:p. 98-108
- Prints charming : after years of marginalisation, artist E Mervyn Taylor is finally getting his due[permanent dead link]; Listener, 16 Sep 2006; v.205 n.3462:p. 40
- Wood engravings by Mervyn Taylor[permanent dead link]; Design review, Jun/Jul 1952; v.4 n.3:p. 64-65
- E Mervyn Taylor[permanent dead link]; Here and Now, Jan/Feb 1951; n.5:p. 38,42
- E Mervyn Taylor[permanent dead link]; Arts Year Book, 1947; n.3:p. 116-119,147
- Mackle, Tony. "Ernest Mervyn Taylor". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
- "E. Mervyn Taylor mural search & recovery project". Massey University College of Creative Arts. Massey University College of Creative Arts. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
- Soil Bureau. New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Information Series No. 94. 1973.
- National Film Unit. "Pictorial Parade No. 128". YouTube. Archives NZ. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
- Holloway-Smith, Bronwyn. "Te Ika-a-Akoranga". Bronwyn Holloway-Smith. Bronwyn Holloway-Smith. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
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