Margery Blackman

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Margery Blackman

Margery Isobel McCaskill

(1930-03-25) 25 March 1930 (age 93)
Auckland, New Zealand
Alma materUniversity of Otago
Known forWeaving
SpouseGary Blackman (died 2022)

Margery Isobel Blackman QSM (née McCaskill; born 25 March 1930) is a New Zealand weaver.

Early life and family[edit]

She was born in Dunedin in 1930, the daughter of naturalist Lance McCaskill, and graduated from the University of Otago with a Diploma of Home Science.[1][2] She married pharmacologist, photographer and artist Gary Blackman in about 1955.[3]

Weaving career[edit]

In 1959 she moved to Edinburgh, where her husband had been awarded a research fellowship at the University of Edinburgh,[4] and she began to learn weaving skills.[1] She was influenced by Scandinavian handweaving and was largely interested in floor rugs.[1]

In 1963 she returned to Dunedin and from 1967 she worked at the Otago Museum.[1] In 1976 she went to Edinburgh to study weaving under Scottish tapestry weaver Anna King.[1] In 1988 she was made honorary curator of ethnographic textiles and costume from other cultures and Māori material at Otago Museum.[5]

Blackman has organised numerous textile exhibitions, largely at the Otago Museum, including 'Islamic Rugs' in 1975, 'Indonesian Weaving' in 1981, 'Treasures from Māori Women' in 1989, and 'From Emperor's Court to Village Festival', an exhibition of Chinese textiles.[5] In 2012, she appeared in a series of YouTube videos created by Te Papa talking about textile analysis and Māori weaving.[6][7] Her work is held in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.[8][9]

In the 1995 New Year Honours, Blackman was awarded the Queen's Service Medal for public services.[10]

Later life[edit]

Blackman's husband, Gary, died in 2022.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e Blumhardt, Doreen; Brake, Brian (1981). Craft New Zealand: The art of the craftsman. Auckland: A.H. & A.W. Reed. p. 280. ISBN 0-589-01343-2.
  2. ^ "Blackman, Margery". Find NZ Artists. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Gary Blackman obituary". The Press. 26 November 2022. Retrieved 27 November 2022.
  4. ^ "Gary Blackman – I'm known as Marjorie's husband". The Valley Project. 24 January 2011. Archived from the original on 7 February 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Margery Blackman - Textile Curator and Tapestry Weaver". NZine. 22 May 2003. Archived from the original on 17 May 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Margery Blackman talks about researching the 'Stockholm cloak'". YouTube. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Margery Blackman talks about textile analysis". YouTube. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Blackman, Margery". Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  9. ^ "Object: Floor rug". Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  10. ^ "No. 53894". The London Gazette (2nd supplement). 31 December 1994. p. 35.