Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Rita Angus: An artist’s life

Rita Angus: An artist’s life

Click to enlarge

Media Release
For immediate use: 7 April 2008

Rita Angus: An artist’s life will be launched in Wellington on Tuesday 8 April, 2008
Published by Te Papa Press, $69.99 ISBN 978-1-877385-39-1

Rita Angus: An artist’s life
by Jill Trevelyan

Te Papa Press publishes the first and only biography of one of New Zealand’s best-loved and most significant 20th century artists to mark the 100th anniversary of her birth.

Born Henrietta Catherine Angus in March 1908, Rita Angus’s role as an artist was clear from an early age ‘Rita drew as soon as she could hold a pencil,’ said her sister Jean, ‘and never stopped’.

The oldest of seven children, Angus studied art first at Palmerston North Girls’ High, then at the Canterbury College School of Art, and the Elam School of Art and Design in Auckland. She lived in Christchurch for much of her adult life, and later in Wellington where the cottage she owned and painted in until her death in 1970 is today run as an artists’ residency through Massey University and the Thorndon Trust.

A New Zealand pioneer of a ‘modern’ style of painting, Angus’s work is more popular today than ever. Her 1936 painting of a tiny railway station in Canterbury hill country, Cass, was recently voted ‘New Zealand’s greatest painting’ by television viewers.

In completing this biography, the first and only to have been published on the artist to-date, author Jill Trevelyan drew on newly available archives and letters.

Archives in the Alexander Turnbull Library and family papers recently returned to New Zealand reveal the stories behind many of Angus’s iconic artworks, and give a fuller picture of this articulate and forthright woman.

Trevelyan is also the co-curator of an exhibition, Rita Angus: Life and Vision, which will open at Te Papa in July and will tour nationwide.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland