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Portrait of Betty Curnow
Portrait of Betty Curnow 1942
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oil on canvas, 775 x 647 mm
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, purchased 1970
See this work on the Auckland Art Gallery's website
Rita Angus stayed with her Christchurch friends Betty and Allen Curnow several times during the late 1930s and the 1940s. She gave them this portrait to thank them for their hospitality.
Angus and Betty Curnow planned the portrait together. They selected clothing and objects that would best symbolise the threads of Curnow’s life as a daughter, wife, and mother.
Curnow sits in her grandfather’s chair, with a portrait of her father on the wall. Her son Wystan is indicated by his blue pants, which Curnow holds, and the bookcase represents her husband’s career as a poet.
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