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Record Image
Hodgkins, Frances Mary (New Zealand, b.1869, d.1947), Artist
Portrait of Myfanwy Evans
Circa 1940
450 x 314 mm sight size
Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Purchased 1970 with funds from the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Society.
Frances Hodgkins had many women friends, but Myfanwy Evans had the distinction of being a friend whose perceptive writing brought Frances much pleasure. Myfanwy Evans and her husband John Piper both wrote about Frances’s April 1940 exhibition at Lefevre Galleries – John in The Spectator and Myfanwy in The Listener. Frances wrote: ‘I was made so very happy by what you & John wrote about me and I owe you very particular thanks – it gave to my show all the success I could hope for and how jolly & right & apt the Braque looked, cliff to cliff my opposite number … you wrote deliciously about the Show – I tried to chant the words – ecstatically – like poetry they were best said aloud. I like to think my Spring has not flowered without anybody seeing it.'(1) The exhibition included Mill House, Ponterwyd (page 137).
John Piper was an astute critic of Frances’s works and gave her kind and practical assistance when times were hard and her health was poor. Myfanwy Evans went on to write a small book entitled Frances Hodgkins for the Penguin Modern Painters Series, published in 1948.
In this thoughtful and tender portrait dark chalk seems to whisper across the paper, subtly outlining forms, smudging shadows into hair and neck and gently brushing across eyelid and cheek. Frances gave the portrait to Myfanwy and it was purchased from her for the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

1. Letter to Myfanwy Evans, 15 May 1940, Gill, pp 503-504. The article was ‘Round the Art Exhibitions’ by Myfanwy Evans, Listener, 18 April 1940, pp 778-779. One painting by Georges Braque and one by Frances Hodgkins were reproduced with the article.

not on view

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