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Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.


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WEEKS, John, O.B.E.



A new biography of Weeks, John appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.

John Weeks was born in Devonshire, England, on 8 June 1888 and studied art at the Royal Scottish Academy, the Academy of Andre L'Hote, Paris, the Edinburgh College of Art, and in Rome and Florence. During the First World War he served in France. In 1925 he won the painting prize at the Royal Scottish Academy. He was instructor in drawing and painting at Elam School of Art, Auckland, from 1930 to 1949, when Elam became a university school, and thenceforth was senior lecturer in painting until his retirement in 1953. Through teaching and example, Weeks has fostered an appreciation of the principles of Post Impressionism in this country. He was awarded the Bledisloe Medal for landscape painting in 1935. A major retrospective exhibition of his work was staged by the Auckland City Art Gallery in 1955 and this was shown throughout New Zealand. Weeks is represented in all major galleries in New Zealand. He was awarded the O.B.E. in 1958. He died alone in his studio at Auckland c. 12 September 1965.

During his formative years Weeks travelled and worked in France, Morocco, Tunisia, and Italy where he gained a mature understanding of the principles of Post Impressionism. On his return to New Zealand he did much to foster the appreciation of sound pictorial design and expressive colour. He was an ardent and purposeful experimenter and in his studio at Northcote, Auckland, he sometimes anticipated methods and trends that were to flourish in Europe and in the United States of America years later. The experiments were never intended for exhibition.

by Stewart Bell Maclennan, A.R.C.A.(LOND.), Director, National Art Gallery, Wellington.

  • Auckland Star, 17 Sep 1965 (Obit).


Stewart Bell Maclennan, A.R.C.A.(LOND.), Director, National Art Gallery, Wellington.