4 May 2024

Finn McCahon-Jones: letters between best friends

From Saturday Morning, 11:05 am on 4 May 2024

Photo: supplied/Te Papa

A collection of letters written to and from iconic New Zealand painter Colin McCahon sheds light on a special relationship spanning four decades. McCahon met penpal Ron O'Reilly in 1938, when the pair were just 19 and 24 respectively.

They wrote to each other regularly, amassing hundreds of letters covering McCahon's art practice, the contemporary art scene, ideas, philosophy, and spiritual life. A selection of the letters chosen by McCahon scholar Peter Simpson has been published in a new book Dear Colin, Dear Ron - with an afterword by McCahon's grandson Finn.