1908 - 1986
Born at Waipiro Bay, Gisborne, in 1908, Claudia Jarman’s (nee Pole) father was a school principal. She later attended Auckland Teacher’s College. Claudia began her career teaching English and maths. However, it was not long before she was teaching art and art history. She also had time to spend on her own art practice; Jacqueline Bullmore, who taught art with Claudia Jarman in 1959 at Tauranga Girls’ College, described Jarman as particularly talented at wood carving.
Arriving in Tauranga in 1939, Claudia first taught at Tauranga District High School (Hillsdene) and from 1958 at Tauranga Girls’ College. In 1939, she married Reginald Jarman, and they had one son named Richard. Claudia was also involved in the Tauranga Repertory Society and, along with Reginald, was a foundation member of the Tauranga Chamber Music Society and the Tauranga Art Society.
Described as ‘a little fox terrier with a huge spirit,’ Claudia Jarman was an art educator with great passion, inspiring two generations of teenagers in the Bay of Plenty to practice and appreciate art.
With foresight and vision, Patricia Brooks, a past pupil of Claudia Jarman’s, began raising money to establish a fund to remember her art teacher’s contribution to the visual arts of Tauranga. This fund is now administered on behalf of its contributors by the Acorn Foundation, and each year, a contribution is made to the Tauranga Art Gallery from the Claudia Jarman Fund.