Early years 1929-39


Rita Angus, 1936
Douglas Whillans
Private collection

According to Rita Angus’s mother, ‘Rita drew as soon as she could hold a pencil and never stopped.’ Even as a child in Palmerston North, she clearly had unusual talent.

In 1927, aged 19, Angus moved to Christchurch to attend art school. She soon became interested in modern art and began to experiment with her style, as the works in this section show.

By the late 1930s, Angus had developed a strong awareness of herself as a woman artist and had painted some of her best-known works. Looking back on this period, she wrote, ‘My feminist viewpoint is a normal development in women. But I was precocious ...’


Early work 1929-36
Cass  1936

Early work 1929-36

Rita Angus studied at the Canterbury College School of Art from 1927 to 1933. Her conservative teachers... more>
Cambridge Terrace 1936-39
Leo Bensemann  1938

Cambridge Terrace 1936-39

In 1936, Rita Angus rented a studio flat in Cambridge Terrace, central Christchurch. Just over a year later, her friend... more>
All artworks are reproduced courtesy of the Estate of Rita Angus.