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Exhibition celebrates Dame Robin White

11 March 2021


A new exhibition of prints by Dame Robin White (Ngaati Awa) is set to open at Waikato Museum on 13 March.

Robin White: A Life in Prints offers a rare glimpse into White’s fifty-year practice, from early images depicting her family home in Raglan to her Bird Watching series inspired by her current hometown of Masterton.

White is well-known for her bold crisp lines and flat blocks of colour, depicting scenes of small-town Kiwi life, from fish and chip shops to green and hilly landscapes, which earned her the honour of a damehood in 2009 and an Arts Foundation Laureate Award in 2017. She has been making prints for more than five decades and continues to develop her practice alongside painting, inspired by her family, faith and environment.

Born in Te Puke, White grew up in Epsom and went on to complete a Diploma of Fine Arts at Elam School of Fine Arts before moving to Paremata to teach art at Mana College. Her brief stint as an art teacher soon morphed into full-time work as an artist when she moved to Otago in 1972. After a ten-year career as a painter and printmaker, White and her family moved to Kiribati, a remote island republic in the central Pacific, where she began making woodcuts and exploring Pacific motifs. After 18 years on the island, White and her family moved back to New Zealand and settled in Masterton, where they've been based ever since.

Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham said the exhibition celebrates the works of one of New Zealand’s most distinguished artists. “Dame Robin’s contribution to art in New Zealand is immense – she’s been a leading figure in our country’s art world for five decades,” she said. “This vibrant exhibition gives a fascinating insight into White's versatility as an artist and the multiple layers of meaning contained in her works.”

Robin White: A Life in Prints is curated by Tauranga-based art historian and author Penelope Jackson and runs until 30 May, daily from 10am to 5pm. Entry is free.


Details of all exhibitions are available at


Image: Robin Adair White, White’s Place, Raglan - Edition 16/30, 1971. Collection of Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato


For more information:

Cherie Meecham

07 838 6709 |