Works in the database
Works with images
Works with multiple sales

Past Sales

Daybreak (Ponsonby Post Office), 1951
Wellington Harbour
Ngaruhoe and the Desert Road

Sales by Medium

Sold 315 works for
Works on Paper
Sold 26 works for
Prints & Graphics
Sold 5 works for

Where to buy or sell art works by Sam Cairncross

Auction Houses

Dunbar Sloane
Sold 294 works for
International Art Centre
Sold 27 works for
Sold 16 works for

Born in 1913, Sam Cairncross commenced painting around the age of 30. He studied art in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts the late 1940s and was active in Wellington, New Zealand. He was known for his realist modern paintings, using vigorous full-brush work and bright colours, many of which are street scenes in Wellington. He exhibited with the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, which lost him the reputation he had held as leader of the Wellington 'moderns'.

Sam Cairncross is one of the most prolific of the artists listed in our database, with the number of works offered for sale by auction since 1988 of 462, of which 346 (75%) were sold. The highest price recorded for the artist is $12,519 for Avenue Andre Rivoir Paris sold by International Art Centre in November 2022. No works have been offered for sale this year, and the last sale we have recorded for the artist was in 2023. Works by Sam Cairncross are held by the Museum Of New Zealand and Christchurch Art Gallery.

Sam Cairncross is listed in the following standard biographical references:

  • McGahey, Kate. The Concise Dictionary of New Zealand Artists Painters Printmakers Sculptors, Gilt Edge Publishing, Wellington, New Zealand, 2000. Page 39
  • The Find New Zealand Artists web site: a database of artist names that directs researchers to the rich resources found in New Zealand's libraries, art society exhibition histories and published sources.

The Australian Art Sales Digest is a database of over 610,000 works by more than 12,000 artists who are listed as having either lived or worked in Australia or New Zealand, and an additional 36,000 foreign and other artists, offered for sale by auction in Australia and New Zealand from the early 1970s to the present day.

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