The Blue Wrap
1925, 300 x 365mm, Oil on canvas on board
Alice Gwendoline Rhona Haszard was born at Pārāwai Thames, but her family soon moved to Hokitika and she received her schooling at Invercargill. In 1918, her mother died in the flu epidemic and the family moved to Ōtautahi, the acknowledged art centre of New Zealand at the time. Her talent as an artist already obvious, Haszard enrolled at the Canterbury College School of Art in the same year that its innovative director, Archibald Frank Nicoll, was appointed. Among her classmates were Olivia Spencer-Bower, Evelyn Page (née Polson), and Rata Lovell-Smith.
By the early 1920s, Haszard was exhibiting regularly with a number of art societies. In January 1923, she married Ronald McKenzie, a part time art instructor, but the marriage had failed by 1925 and ended in divorce. She then married an artist, Leslie Greener, who persuaded her to accompany him on an extensive overseas journey, which saw them eventually settle in Paris. There, they both studied at the Académie Julian. In 1928, they went to live in Alexandria, where Greener had an appointment at Victoria College and Haszard continued to paint.
In 1928, they undertook a painting holiday in Cyprus and it was here that she suffered a serious back injury, which resulted in her return to London for treatment. In 1930, both artists exhibited at the Galerie Paul in Cairo, and Haszard had a considerable success at the Grafton Gallery in London. Unfortunately, her illness persisted and brought her to the point of depression. She returned to Alexandria at the end of the year, apparently recovered. While ostensibly sketching from the Victoria College tower in February 1931, she fell from a window to her death.
A more extensive biography is available on Te Ara The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.