Frances Hodgkins The Farmer's Daughter (Portrait of Annie Coggan) 1929-30 oil on canvas laid onto board Collection Dunedin Public Art Gallery


Until April 3rd 2011 – Dudenin Public Art Gallery

Frances Hodgkins is one of New Zealand’s most highly regarded artists.
This exhibition celebrates the fine collection of portraits by Hodgkins held in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery collection and ranges from lyrical pencil drawings to superbly executed watercolours and distinctive oil paintings. A feature of this exhibition is the newly acquired painting The Farmer’s Daughter (Portrait of Annie Coggan).
Frances Mary Hodgkins (28 April 1869 – 13 May 1947) was a New Zealand painter who lived in England for much of her life.

Hodgkins was born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1869, the daughter of W.M. Hodgkins a lawyer, amateur painter and principal figure in the city’s art circles. After early success as a watercolourist she went on to become one of the leading artists of British Modernism.
As a child she attended Braemar House, a private girls’ secondary school, later incorporated into Columba College. She first exhibited in 1890, although she felt overshadowed by her sister, Isobel. In 1893 she became a student of Girolamo Nerli who inspired her first successes. It has been suggested this is where she first met Dorothy Kate Richmond (1860-1935). In 1895-96 she attended the Dunedin School of Art.
In 1901 she left New Zealand for Europe travelling to England but also visiting France, the Netherlands, Italy and Morocco in the company of Richmond whom she described as “the dearest woman with the most beautiful face and expression. I am a lucky beggar to have her as a travelling companion.”. She returned and established a studio in Wellington where she held a joint exhibition with Richmond in 1904. Among her pupils then was Edith Kate Bendall, lesbian lover of Katherine Mansfield. In the same year Hodgkins became engaged to an Englishman, T. Boughton Wilby, after the briefest of courtships and planned to go overseas to marry him. The engagement was broken off at the last moment for unknown reasons. Dissatisfied with teaching in New Zealand Hodgkins returned to London in 1906.
Her first solo show was in London in 1907. In 1911-12 she taught at Colarossi’s academy in Paris.
During the first world war she spent some time in Zennor Cornwall where she worked with Cedric Morris who painted her portrait in 1917.
In 1929 she joined the Seven and Five Society and worked alongside younger artists including Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Henry Moore. In 1930 it is said she was the person who finally “goaded” her friend Lucy Wertheim into opening her gallery in London to exhibit “artists who had not yet arrived”.[4] She continued to paint into her seventies, despite suffering from rheumatism and bronchitis.
Hodgkins is most admired for the freely painted works of her later life. She is an artistic descendant of Henri Matisse and a lyrical colourist. She died in Dorchester, Dorset, in 1947.

Gallery  Hours