Jill Trevelyan won the Non-Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009 for this
magnificent biography of one of New Zealand’s leading 20th century artists. Now back in print, this revised
edition brings the book up to date with new assessments of Angus and in the context of the Rita Angus
exhibition to be held at Te Papa late in 2021.
Rita Angus was a pioneer of modern painting during the 1930s and 1940s. More than 100 years after her
birth, works such as Rutu (1951), Central Otago (1940), and Portrait of Betty Curnow (1941–1942) are
national icons. While Angus is perhaps New Zealand’s best-loved painter, the story of her life remained
little known and poorly understood before this acclaimed and revelatory book.
Jill Trevelyan traces Angus’s life, from her childhood in Napier and Palmerston North to her death in
Wellington in 1970. Drawing on a wealth of archives and letters, she brings to life Rita Angus the person:
highly articulate and full of zest, intellectually curious and forthright in her attitudes and emotions,
powerfully committed to her pacifist and feminist beliefs and dedicated, above all, to life as an artist.Rita Angus: An Artist’s Life
is generously illustrated with more than 150 artworks and private photographs
to bring Angus – her private struggles and public reputation and her greatest legacy, her art – to complex,