Untitled [Design for Chalice]

Allandale Springtime, James Johnstone, c. 1953. Oil on Canvas

James Johnstone, Pencil and ink drawing on paper, Date unknown. UC/MBL/2061

As a designer and teacher of metalwork, James Johnstone was often called upon to design and execute a variety of ceremonial objects such as chalices and patens. The Macmillan Brown collection holds a significant number of original designs for these objects, many of which were donated to the Canterbury Museum. In some instances, the object’s commissioner or purpose is known, often due to hastily written notes on the design. Though the purposes of these Chalice designs are unknown, they are particularly interesting examples of Johnstone’s design work, as they incorporate New Zealand-native flora. The two designs use the same basic shape for their cups and bases, however their midsections are slightly different in shape, with one emerging as an elliptical sphere, and the other protruding and then curving inwards. Both in the larger design, and in details to the side, Johnstone has included plans for the chalices’ engravings featuring the kowhai flower. These stylised flowers are decorative and reminiscent of the arts and crafts style that Johnstone was trained in, but rather than simply repeat English designs, Johnstone has here placed this Chalice firmly in a New Zealand context.

James Johnstone : A selection of artworks


Click on the thumbnails to discover more about this striking selection of artworks by James Johnstone. Images selected and written about by Alice Tappenden.

Allandale Springtime, James Johnstone, c. 1953. Oil on Canvas. UC/MBL/2330
Untitled [Botanical Drawing], James Johnstone, Graphite and watercolour on paper, 1920. UC/MBL/2133
Untitled [Design for Chalice], James Johnstone, Pencil and ink drawing on paper, Date unknown. UC/MBL/2061
Untitled [Sheet of sketches for decimal currency], James Johnstone, Graphite, pen and ink on paper, c. 1966. UC/MBL/2138
Diploma of the Edinburgh College of Art, presented to James Alexander Johnstone, 1920. UC/MBL/2151
Floral Design, James Johnstone, Graphite and watercolour on paper. UC/MBL/2109
Untitled [Head Study], James Johnstone, Charcoal on paper, 1913. UC/MBL/2154
On the Solway, James Johnstone, Oil on canvas. UC/MBL/2236
Untitled [Design for Centennial Stamp, ChristChurch Cathedral], James Johnstone, c. 1949, Watercolour on paper. UC/MBL/2103
Untitled [The Camp, Woodend], James Johnstone, 1945, Oil on canvas. UC/MBL/2212
Untitled [Woodend Beach], James Johnstone, 1945, Oil on canvas. UC/MBL/2217
  • Phone Numbers
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  • Email Enquiries
    Lydia Baxendell
    Art Collections Curator
    Macmillan Brown Library
    lydia.baxendell@canterbury.ac.nz
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    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800
    Christchurch 8140