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A Lois White


Jubilation by A Lois White

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A fracas in the street outside Lois White's studio in August 1945, which proved to be an ecstatic crowd celebrating the news of peace, inspired this animated, rhythmic composition of dancing figures swept together in a mood of joyous optimism. The work belongs to a group of vigorous political and social commentaries White painted in the 1930s and '40s expressing her left-wing, anti-war sentiments, the most controversial of which, War Makers of 1937, is also in the Gallery collection. Jubilation was well received at exhibitions in Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin, then purchased for Timaru Girls' High School. It disappeared from public view, resurfacing in 1990 when it was acquired at auction by the Gallery, at which point a colourful history was revealed. The painting had been rescued from incineration by the school's caretaker in 1970 and hung in the smoko hut until 1975, then in the school library until it was sold. Working outside the mainstream of New Zealand art in her later years, Lois White represented biblical themes, allegories and female figures in symbolic guise treated in a highly refined, decorative manner. She was largely ignored by the art establishment for many years, but a major retrospective, By the Waters of Babylon, toured New Zealand in 1994-95. (from The Guide, 2001)

Production date
oil on cardboard
Size (h x w)
585 x 380 mm
A. Lois White 1948 (l.l.)
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased with funds from the M A Serra Trust, 1990
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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