Auckland Art Gallery (Auckland)

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is the principal public gallery in Auckland, New Zealand, and has the most extensive collection of national and international art in New Zealand. It frequently hosts travelling international exhibitions.

Set below the hilltop Albert Park in the central-city area of Auckland, the gallery was established in 1888 as the first permanent art gallery in New Zealand. The NEW Gallery, across the road from the main gallery, shows contemporary art. It is located in the former Auckland Telephone Exchange Building which was converted in 1995 into a rather daring fusion of Edwardian and contemporary architecture.

The Auckland Gallery collection was initially dominated by European old master paintings following the standard taste of the 19th century. Today the collection has expanded to include a wider variety of periods, styles and media, and numbers over 15,000 artworks. Many New Zealand and Pacific artists are represented, as well as Europe and material from the Middle Ages to the present day. Notable New Zealand artists with extensive representation include Gretchen Albrecht, Marti Friedlander, C.F. Goldie, Alfred Henry O'Keeffe, Frances Hodgkins, Gottfried Lindauer and Colin McCahon. Some of these works were donated by the artists themselves.

The main gallery building was originally designed by Melbourne architects Grainger & D'Ebro to house not only the art gallery but also the City Council offices, lecture theatre and public library. It is constructed of brick and plaster in an early French Renaissance style and was completed in 1887, with an extension built in 1916. It is three storeys high, with an attic in the steep pitched roofs, and a six storey clock tower. The building was registered as a Category I heritage item by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.


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