In the 3rd of September 2010 edition of The University of Auckland News Andrew Clifford discussed the mystery of the James K. Baxter portrait by Joseph Alach.
After reading Andrew Clifford’s article, I made a final check of the card files which are a precursor to the Index to New Zealand Art (INZART) to see if there were any more articles that discuss Alach.
I had previously checked INZART and the Elam Archive for references to this artist, but had forgotten to search the card files that contain references to press cuttings from the late 1960s to 1992. These cards are in the process of being digitised.
There I found two articles from the 1970s. The first from the September 1972 edition of Eve, which focuses on primitive artists in New Zealand and includes a reference to Alach’s use of war themes in his works. The article is illustrated with a black and white portrait of the artist and three colour images of his paintings.
The second article from the New Zealand Herald, dated 20 October 1973 includes an image of the artist holding the James K. Baxter portrait, which he had offered to the Auckland City Council. This article comments that Alach preferred to play bowls than prepare for shows.
The discovery of the 1973 article confirms that Alach gifted the James K. Baxter painting to The University of Auckland Library after offering it to other organisations.
One man's hard yakker. (20 October 1973). New Zealand Herald.
The primitive outlook: A simple view. (September 1972). Eve.
Clifford, A. (2010). From the Collection. The University of Auckland News, 40 (16), 7.
Fine Arts Library