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Rita Angus, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and New Zealand’s Medieval Modernism

Friday 23 February, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

$25.00 – $30.00

Rita Angus’s portrait of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams is one of the only portraits she painted of someone she had never met, and perhaps as a result has been less considered. Join us as New Zealand Art historian Michael Moore-Jones explores the cultural, intellectual and social world surrounding Angus’s wartime painting of the English composer, and suggests it is a kind of keystone to understanding a burgeoning “medieval modernism” in 1930s and 40s New Zealand. This medieval modernism offers a part explanation for one of the enduring paradoxes of New Zealand art in the 30s and 40s: how artists and writers could critique and disdain nationalism while simultaneously enacting it.

Michael Moore-Jones is currently the Oroya and Melvin Day Fellow in New Zealand Art History at Victoria University of Wellington Te Herenga Waka, where he is teaching a course on Landscape, Art and Memory in New Zealand. His PhD dissertation (under examination) considers New Zealand’s 1930–60s cultural nationalism. He studied art history at the University of Oxford.
Above image: Rita Angus painting Self Portrait; Jean Bertram, photographer, 1936-1937; Registration NumberCA000242/001/0002


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Friday 23 February
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
$25.00 – $30.00
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Friends of Te Papa
(04) 381 7051


Te Huinga Centre, Level 3, Te Papa
55 Cable Street, Wellington
Wellington, 6011 New Zealand
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