History of the Logie Collection

The James Logie Memorial Collection was first formed in 1957, following a gift of Greek pottery to Canterbury University College by Classics staff member Miss Marion Steven.

Miss Marion Steven, Rome, c.1970

Marion Steven had a longstanding passion for Greek painted pottery. As a young woman, she enrolled to study Greek and Classics as a student at Canterbury in 1938, and later taught at the University between 1944 to 1977, where she proved to be a popular lecturer. In 1950, Marion married James Logie, who was Registrar of the College from 1950 until his death in 1956. In 1957, Marion established the James Logie Memorial Collection as a tribute to her husband. Since then the Logie Collection has served to commemorate the great contributions of both James Logie and Marion Steven to the University of Canterbury.

The purpose of the Logie Collection is to serve as a teaching and research collection for students, academics and interested members of the public. Over the past 60 years the Collection has been a source of inspiration for numerous international publications and research projects.

In 2016 the University of Canterbury received a substantial donation to support the relocation the James Logie Memorial Collection of Classical Antiquities to the Arts Centre in central Christchurch. UC alumnus Professor David Teece and his wife, Leigh Teece, donated funds to support the refurbishment of the old Chemistry Building, and created the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities.


Canterbury College Classics Staff, 1946

The Logie Collection includes a wide range of pottery, beginning with the Bronze Age cultures of Cyprus, Crete and Mycenae. Of particular significance is the Logie Collection’s assemblage of Greek painted pottery. This includes vases that come from Corinth and Athens, the islands in the Aegean, East Greece and the Greek colonies in South Italy and Sicily. The styles represented include Geometric, Orientalising and Gnathian, with emphasis placed on Black and Red-Figure vases from the Archaic and Classical Periods (ca. 600-330 BCE).

Works of considerable renown in the Logie Collection include the unique Stilts Vase by the Swing Painter, which seems to represent a troupe of actors on stilts, and an unusual pseudo-Panathenaic amphora by a painter from the Leagros Group. Also well represented are vases originally intended for use in the symposium (drinking party), including numerous kraters (mixing bowls for wine and water) and kylikes (drinking cups), all decorated with scenes from Greek mythology, theatre and everyday life.

To find out more about the Collection, browse our Collection Highlights. You may also find the following publications of interest:

  • The Logie Collection by J.R Green. Canterbury University Press, 2009
  • Greek and Roman Treasures in Christchurch, J.R. Green. Canterbury University Press, 2007
  • For short articles on the history of the collection and the Classics Department, also see our Potted Histories