Hamish Keith has been writing about and working with the arts in New Zealand for almost half a century.
He has published a number of books on cultural and social history and cooking as well as the arts.
He has contributed reviews and comment on the arts and urban and social issues for numerous magazines and newspapers since writing a weekly column of art news and reviews for the Auckland Star from 1962 to 1975.
With Gordon H Brown he wrote the first history of New Zealand art An Introduction to New Zealand Painting, published by William Collins in 1969.
Keith worked at the Auckland City Art Gallery from 1958 to 1970, as Student Assistant (1958-61), Assistant Keeper (1961-64), and Keeper of the Gallery (1965-70), before working as a freelance journalist, writer and art consultant.
He has been chair of the National Gallery and chair of the Arts Council (aka Creative NZ ) and in 1999 headed the survey of the arts infrastructure Heart of the Nation which the grateful government ignored.
He was the original driver of the Te Papa exhibition
Keith has been, at times, a controversial figure in the arts.
Willing to stand up publicly for his opinions, Keith has played a significant role in the artistic life of New Zealand since the late 1950s. Keith has been a consistent critic of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa , referring to it as a "theme park", the "cultural equivalent to a fast-food outlet" and "not even a de facto national gallery"
The Big Picture His recent work includes a 6 part documentary series The Big Picture, which broadcast on TVNZ and is available as a DVD.
The accompanying book, The Big Picture, is published by Godwit, NZ
Native Wit He has also recently published his memoir Native Wit, Random House.
Current project He is currently planning and researching a new documentary series on the Pacific War