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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Dunedin Public Art Gallery

In 1889 the city of Dunedin found itself in possession of a number of pictures purchased from the New Zealand South Seas International Exhibition as the nucleus of a civic collection but with no art gallery to house them. The newly formed Art Gallery Society solved the problem by purchasing two sections of the temporary exhibition building, a long structure of timber and corrugated iron, and had these erected at the end of the museum building. These served until 1905 when Lady McLean inspired a movement to erect a gallery which has since become the Early Settlers' Museum.

In 1925–26 an important art exhibition, a feature of the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition, was shown in an attractive, well designed gallery built for the purpose in Logan Park. Sir Percy and Lady Sargood purchased the building and presented it to the city as a memorial to their son killed in the First World War. This is now the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Two-thirds of the permanent collection is devoted to overseas art and includes a fine Romney and other notable British and foreign works from the eighteenth century to the present day. The other third comprises a representational collection of New Zealand art, Van der Velden's “Otira Gorge” being particularly noteworthy. There are also collections of period furniture and objets d'art. The gallery is administered for the city by a board of trustees elected by the Gallery Society and on which the City Council is represented. Income is derived mainly from City Council grants, membership subscriptions, donations, and interest on investments. Mrs Annette Pearse was appointed curator in 1945 and director in 1951. She retired in 1965 and was succeeded by J. D. Charlton Edgar.