Discover one of New Zealand’s most significant art collections at the Christchurch Art Gallery (officially Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu). Find work by New Zealanders, Māori people and world-famous international artists among the gallery’s catalogue of some 6,000 pieces. Inaugurated in 2003, the Christchurch Art Gallery replaced the former Robert McDougall Art Gallery as the city’s major gallery. It operated as Civil Defence office after the 2011 earthquake and reopened as a gallery at the end of 2015.
The collections are displayed in the halls of a modern building, which boasts an impressive 90 metre (295 foot) façade made from glass and metal. Find everything from bronze sculptures to pop art and woodcarvings. Admire the paintings of Māori dignitaries by Auckland-born Charles Frederick Goldie and see watercolours by Peter McIntyre.
Spend time appreciating pieces by acclaimed international painters. Highlights include a series of sketches by the Dutch-born New Zealander Petrus van der Velden. Spot masterpieces by Spanish masters such as Francisco Jose de Goya, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí.
Don’t miss the multimedia exhibition of animal-themed works, which range from paintings to life-size models. Be dazzled by Reuben Paterson’s futuristic elevator instillation influenced by Māori cosmology.
Save time to examine the building’s exterior. It is decorated with two imposing works. One is a huge mural inspired by the trials and tribulations faced by the city of Christchurch in the aftermath of the earthquakes. The other is a 46-metre (151-feet) long slogan made from neon lights that says Everything Is Going To Be Alright.
Located Christchurch’s Cultural Precinct, the gallery is a short walk from other major city attractions. Delve into the history of the Canterbury region at the nearby Canterbury Museum. It sits on the edge of Hagley Park, a huge green space that includes the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Stroll along the banks of the Avon River to the Bridge of Remembrance.
Christchurch Art Gallery is open daily and admission is free. Free guided tours take place twice daily. More information is available on the gallery’s official website.