JD Stout Annual Lecture (Wellington, 4 October): Damian Skinner, ‘Theo Schoon and the Case of the Pink Venus De Milo’

Date: Wednesday 4 October 2017
Time: 5.15pm to 6.30pm
Venue: Maclaurin Lecture Theatre 102, Kelburn Campus, Victoria University.

Theodorus Johannes Schoon (1915-1985) was a pioneering painter, printmaker, photographer, gourd and jade carver and ceramicist. A Dutchman, born and raised in Indonesia, he arrived in Aotearoa in 1939, where he used his sense of difference and being out-of-place to make art that challenged Pakeha attitudes and cultural values. This talk by Damian Skinner considers how Indonesian art and Dutch colonialism prepared Schoon for his encounter with Maori art – resulting in an extraordinary and complicated relationship that left its mark on the visual arts in Aotearoa.


Damian Skinner is an independent art historian and curator. He was curator of Applied Art and Design at the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira from 2012-16, and a Newton International Fellow at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, in 2012-13. His most recent book was The Māori Meeting House: Introducing the Whare Whakairo, published by Te Papa Press in 2016.  He is currently completing a biography of artist Theo Schoon.