Museum & Galleries

New Zealand Portrait Gallery

New Zealand / The Pacific

The New Zealand Portrait Gallery has been housed in Shed 11, Customhouse Quay on the Wellington Waterfront opposite Johnston Street since 2011. The building dates from 1904 and was originally a waterside store. It still contains the pulleys and beams which transported pallets and barrels through the building more than 100 years ago. The gallery contains portraits both of famous New Zealanders and also ordinary citizens, the aim being to present portraits of people from a variety of cultural and political standpoints, who have shaped the way New Zealanders think about themselves. There is a portrait of The Queen, New Zealand’s Head of State, by Nick Cuthell, which was originally unveiled by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Government House in 2014. The ever-expanding collection of portraits contains paintings, sculptures, caricatures, and photography and takes new media into account. Many of the portraits are donated or sponsored, and there is a programme of seminars and lectures.The gallery was the brainchild of Bill and Judy Williams, and was encouraged from the outset by the former Prime Minister, Sir John Marshall. It is run with the help of volunteers and donations from individuals, and its biennial portrait competition is sponsored by the Adam Foundation. It was registered as a charitable Trust in 1990.

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