Leonard Hampden Booth

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1879, d.1974


  • 1918
  • Watercolour
  • Purchased with assistance from the Olive Stirrat bequest, 2004
  • 440 x 490 x 30mm
  • 2004/24

Leonard Booth is better known today for his skills as a graphic artist and his work as an illustrator, but he also produced a small number of paintings in both watercolour and oil. In Untitled (South Island Bush scene) Booth uses expertly handled washes of colour to create a lively and vibrant scene. The work shows the influence of his close friend, Canterbury watercolourist Alfred Walsh. Born in Christchurch, Booth took classes at the Canterbury College School of Art. In 1900 he began producing illustrations for the Sydney Bulletin. He was appointed to the staff of the Canterbury College School of Art in 1904. In 1933 he became ill and resigned from teaching. By the 1950s Booth was seldom painting, but used his knowledge of art in his practice as a psychotherapist.