John Weeks (painter)

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John Weeks (8 June 1886 – 1965) was a Devonshire born artist who was one of the most influential staff members at the Elam Art School of the University of Auckland where he taught from 1930-1954.[1]

Weeks came to New Zealand as a child with his parents in 1892. He commenced part-time study at Elam in 1908, with further training at Sydney Technical College just prior to World War I. During the war he served in France with the New Zealand Medical Corps and some small watercolours from this time are held by the Auckland Museum. He broke his arms and one leg. He continued his studies after the war at the Canterbury College School of Art.

From 1923-1930 he travelled extensively in Europe, studying intermittently in Edinburgh and at André Lhote's academy, where he was influenced by the cubist movement.

A watercolour sketch undertaken as a demonstration to Elam students

In 1930 Weeks joined the staff at Elam where he was an influential and popular lecturer, representing a more 'modernist' approach than his contemporaries, until his retirement in 1954. In January 1949 much of Weeks' best work was destroyed in a fire at Elam, while he had over 300 of his paintings assembled for selection for a forthcoming exhibition.

In 1955 Weeks was the subject of the first solo show at the Auckland City Art Gallery (now the Auckland Art Gallery dedicated to a New Zealand artist.[2]

John Weeks was awarded the OBE for services to painting in 1958.

After his death in September 1965 around 150 of his works were selected by friends and colleagues for purchase by the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust and sent to several major New Zealand galleries.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ian Thwaites & Rie Fletcher (2004). We Learnt to See: Elam's Rutland Group 1935-1958. Puriri Press. pp. 43–45. ISBN 0-908943-27-X. 
  2. ^ Shand, Peter. "Weeks, John 1886–1965". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 

External links[edit]