Rita Angus’s sister Edna, here wearing a flying suit, cap and goggles, was the first woman pilot (or aviatrix) in the East Coast Aero Club. In the 1930s, the figure of the aviatrix suggested independence and adventure.

Angus combines a stark, simple composition with striking colour. The aviatrix looks straight at us – conveying the power and possibility of life as a modern woman.


  • Title: The aviatrix
  • Creator: Rita Angus
  • Date Created: 1933
  • Location Created: New Zealand
  • Physical Dimensions: h530 x w450 mm
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Depicted Person: Edna Angus, artist’s sister
  • Credit Line: Purchased 2020. © Reproduced courtesy of the Estate of Rita Angus

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