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From the Archives

Author: Courtney Johnston, Director
Thanks to some retrospective scanning that's taking place, a letter to Colin McCahon regarding his donation of a work to The Dowse's collection has surfaced.
Letter to Colin McCahon, 29 April 1980

Letter to Colin McCahon, 29 April 1980

Every so often something delightful crops up in the office. Today it was a scanned copy of this letter from Town Clerk R.H. Deal thanking painter Colin McCahon for his donation of the painting Caterpillar Landscape (1947) to The Dowse's collection. In a small slip between Council meeting and typing pool, the work's title is transcribed as 'Catapilla Landscape'.

The painting has just been on show at The Dowse in the exhibition See Like Your Hero, curated to both share some gems in our collection and support schools through access to works by artists who are studied in the secondary school art curriculum. What people would not have seen was the inscription on the back of the work, which reads:

COLIN McCAHON / THE CATERPILLAR LANDSCAPE / FROM A MAP OF THE / HUTT VALLEY DRAWN / BY RON O'REILLY / OIL SEPTEMBER 1947 / NOT FOR SALE / POST TO McCAHON / 24 PRESTWICK ST. MAORI HILL / DUNEDIN N.W.1.

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