Avis Higgs

New Zealand-born Avis Higgs was an award-winning painter and one of Australasia’s most innovative and versatile textile designers of the 1940s. In more than 80 years as an artist and designer, she made a significant contribution to the development of New Zealand art and design.

Avis is the only New Zealand textile designer of the 1940s who has a large body of work extant. Her portfolio drawings are the largest collection and most concentrated insight into the way a New Zealand designer thought and worked in this period.

Avis’ work in the first half of the 20th century prefigured much that was to happen in subsequent New Zealand art and design, including the area of Pakeha Māori motif modernism.