The art of war
Behind the scenes
The Great Art War is currently on at the Court Theatre
It tells the story, in music, of the spat that developed in Christchurch in the early 1950s when, to cut a long story short, the Robert McDougall Art Gallery decided not to purchase a painting by Frances Hodgkins, but then had little choice in accepting it as a gift when a group of citizens had a whipround and just bought it anyway.
The painting is 'Pleasure Garden' and here it is:
The work seems so inoffensive to our jaded eyes, but at the time the dispute was cast as a titanic clash between the forces of revolution and reaction. In a gentle, Christchurchy sort of way, that is.
You can read more about the painting, read about Bill Sutton's painting 'Homage to Frances Hodgkins', see a sketch of that painting, and see who the contributors were.
And while I have your attention, can we just make it quite clear that the title of the work is 'Pleasure Garden'. Like Handel's 'Messiah' it has no definite article.