O’Connor bequest benefits NZ art gallery

weeksIn January 2010, staff of the E H McCormick Research Library at the Auckland Art Gallery were invited to an Auckland storage facility where a set of bolt cutters was used to break the lock revealing for the first time an archive of one of New Zealand’s more enigmatic painters, John Weeks (1886–1965).

Inside, were 16 large wooden boxes filled to the brim with art donated by the Estate of Peter O’Connor, son of Hilda O’Connor, Weeks’ housekeeper. The Archive consists of paintings and drawings in a variety of media including hundreds of pastels, pencil and pen and ink sketches, small preparatory works on paper and jewel-like paintings such as are shown here. The majority of the work is untitled and undated and presents a challenge for current and future researchers interested in piecing together the career of this influential figure.

As well as being a practising artist, Weeks was a much-loved art teacher at the Elam School of Art, which later became part of the University of Auckland. In the unfinished work, [Artist’s Studio] we see his studio with the painting Continental Café, c1950 on the easel, now a work in Auckland Art Gallery’s collection, and the cigarette left smoking on the stool.

More details on the gallery website here.

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