Rita Angus: An Artist’s Life

Rita Angus the person – curious and forthright, staunchly pacifist and feminist, and wholly dedicated to her art.

Rita Angus: An Artist’s Life

Jill Trevelyan

Publication date: April 2008
NZ RRP (incl. GST): $69.99
Extent: 450 pages
Format: Hardback, 230 x 170mm
Illustrations: 150 half-tones and colour reproductions
ISBN: 9781877385391

Out of print

Rita Angus (1908–70) was one of New Zealand’s most loved and respected artists. Landscapes and portraits such as Cass, Central Otago, and Rutu have become national icons. But until now, Angus’s life has remained a mystery.

In this fascinating book, Rita Angus: An Artist's Life, Jill Trevelyan (editor of Toss Woollaston: A Life in Letters) paints a vivid picture of Rita Angus the person – curious and forthright, staunchly pacifist and feminist, and wholly dedicated to her art. Stunning artworks, personal photographs, and insightful letters help bring Angus’s colourful and complex story to life.

Jill Trevelyan is co-curator of the exhibition Rita Angus: Life & Vision, which opened at Te Papa in July 2008 before travelling to other main centres of New Zealand.

A catalogue accompanying this exhibition was published in July 2008.


'One of the best artist biographies – ever.'
– Hamish Keith, The Listener, May 2008

'Splendid biography by Jill Trevelyan ... Trevelyan strikes a careful balance in this impeccably researched book ... Te Papa Press have made a wonderful production job of this chunky well-designed hardback. I have seldom read a biography that is so well illustrated ... it is a splendid publication in every respect, the best biography of a New Zealand artist published so far.'
– Peter Simpson, Sunday Star Times, April 2008

'Journey into the heart and mind of one of New Zealand’s most enduring cultural figures ... a book about this forthright, determined woman whose work forms a pivotal part of New Zealand’s cultural heritage.'
– Christopher Moore, The Press, April 2008

'Trevelyan’s awesome knowledge of her subject ... the life story of probably our greatest woman artist since Frances Hodgkins.'
– Ann Packer, The Listener, April 2008

Author: Jill Trevelyan
Publication date: April 2008
NZ RRP (incl. GST): $69.99
Extent: 450 pages
Format: Hardback, 230 x 170mm
Illustrations: 150 half-tones and colour reproductions
ISBN: 9781877385391

Out of print