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Record Image
Hodgkins, Frances Mary (New Zealand, b.1869, d.1947), Artist
The Baker's Shop
1945
gouache
333 x 473 mm sight size; 600 x 730 mm frame size
11-1971
Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Purchased 1971 with funds from the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Society
At the end of the war, as steam wafts out of the door into the cold winter dawn, the baker’s shop at Corfe Castle represents all that was sweet and delightful in the days before food rationing and shortages. Priscilla Pitts noted: ‘Without depicting so much as a currant bun, Hodgkins has managed to evoke the happier days of a visit to the baker’s shop through the colours of white, pink and peppermint-green icing, the warm browns and rounded forms of pastries, cob loaves and buns.'(1)
Frances’s family in New Zealand sent many food parcels which helped her through. ‘I think I have acknowledged all yr. generous gift parcels of food excepting the last one sent by Jean for which I have a special letter of thanks – warmest sincerest thanks, heartfelt. The only really 100% good food I get is what you send – N. Z. tinned goods are supreme – especially the meat – cheese etc… .You will notice that food is uppermost in my mind – my baser side – not hungry but just bored – your gifts are like corn in Egypt …'(2) And to her beloved friend and stalwart supporter Dorothy Selby in 1944, ‘Dearest Dorothy, The turkish delight was heavenly! Where did you find it – & having found it how angelic of you to pass it along – I had forgotten what a delicious sweet it is, wild honey and camels’ milk? Was it John the Baptist who fed on it? – with locusts if so He did not do so badly …'(3)

1. Earthly Pleasures exhibition label, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, April 2007
2. Letter to William Hodgkins, 1 June 1943, Gill, p 538
3. Letter to Dorothy Selby, 13 April 1944, Gill, p 546

not on view

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