Mary-Annette Hay ; Leonard Mitchell; c. 1945; 2010.009


Mary-Annette Hay

About this object

This portrait of Mary Annette Hay, was painted while she and Leonard V. Mitchell were students at Wellington Technical College in 1945 and 1946. Mitchell, an older student, formed a romantic attachment to Mary Annette, and painted her as his muse on multiple occasions.

Mary Annette Hay has been dubbed by Te Papa as 'Queen of Wool' for her part in promoting New Zealand wool on national and international stages. After studying art at Wellington Technical College, Hay joined the New Zealand Wool Board in 1948 as their promotions officer, on the strength of a logo she designed for them. She was instrumental in changing the perception of wool as a practical commodity to a luxurious fabric. In 1981, she joined the Wellington Civic Trust, serving for 25 years, becoming part of the platform for Wellington citizens to air their views upon the running and planning of the city.

Leonard V. Mitchell attended Wellington Technical College, highly regarded by his tutors. He was later asked to teach life drawing there. Mitchell became a professional portraitist and painter of landscapes and murals. During World War II, he was a guard of Japanese prisoners of war in Featherston, during which time he made many studies of the camp and its prisoners. In 1956, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London.


Leonard Mitchell

Date Made

c. 1945

Medium and Materials

oil on board [unfinished]


910mm x 765mm image

Subject and Association Description

Hay, Mary-Annette

Credit Line


Object Type


Object number



All rights reserved

oil painting

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