Resources - John Money Collection

The John Money Collection features more than 300 works of art, representing a dedicated collecting career spanning 50 years.  Until its relocation in late 2002, the collection was housed in John Money's university office and small terraced home in the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland.  

The collection includes eight works by Rita Angus and some 114 works by Theo Schoon.  These New Zealand artists were of great interest to John Money - Angus, because of his introduction to one of her landscapes in the room of composer Douglas Lilburn, where he 'saw New Zealand for the first time', and Schoon, because of what eh was as an 'undoubted natural genius' and an unrewarded commitment to celebrating traditional Maori imagery.

Money's interest in American art was also significant but his purchasing and support was confined to promising Baltimore artists, especially Lowell Nesbitt.   As with Angus and Schoon, Nesbitt's paintings and prints in the John Money Collection span the length of the owner's friendship with the artist.  In each instance this was until the time of their respective deaths.

Works by Warramirri artists Liwukan and Wadaymu were purchased from the artists during research trips to Elcho Island, Arnhem Land, Australia in the late 1960's and early 1970's..  About this time Money had also become interested in the carvings and sculptures of West Africa.  While he had visited the continent on several occasions, he primarily built his collection through the purchase of items from US dealers and collectors.  An equally passionate collector and fellow psychologist, Abram Engelman of Baltimore was a source for many works and also his principal advisor.  Like Money he has also become a benefactor to the Eastern Southland Gallery.

Who was John Money?  He was born in Morrinsville in 1921 and went on to study education and psychology at Victoria University, completing two masters degrees by the time he was 23 years old.  After a short time teaching in remote primary schools during WW2 he took up the position of junior lecturer in psychology at Otago University.  

Money had always maintained a great interest in the work of composers and artists and by 1947, when he had secured a post at the Western State Psychiatric Institute in Pittsburgh (USA), had cemented lasting friendships with artists Rita Angus and Theo Schoon, composers Douglas Lilburn and Frederick Page, and writers Janet Frame, James K Baxter and Jacqueline Sturm.  From Pittsburgh he went to Harvard University, receiving a PhD in 1951 while concurrently commencing work as a lecturer at John Hopkins University in Baltimore.

John Money was a research fellow at the John Hopkins University for more than 50 years, retiring from his positions as Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics and Medical Psychology, and Director of the Psychohormonal Research Unit in September 2004.

John Money passed away in Baltimore in July 2006.

Links to explore the works of Rita Angus

Angus' biography, on the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography: or as provided by The Estate of Rita Angus: 

To celebrate the centenary of her birth, Te Papa curated Rita Angus: Life & Vision. To view the resources developed for this exhibition, which has now closed, follow this link:

Te Papa's education service created this worksheet: Perhaps after visiting our collection and working with our works, you could find copies of the works mentioned here and answer their questions:

These students created portraits inspired by Angus: Could your class create artworks inspired by Angus' streetscapes or landscapes?

The Christchurch City Library has this page with further links to information:

Looking for some light reading? Try Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus: An Artist's Life, described by Hamish Keith (a leading NZ art critic) as 'one of the best artist biographies - ever.'

Links to explore the works of Theo Schoon

Schoon wrote this article on growing Maori gourds for Te Ao Hou magazine.