About Aratoi

Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History

The story behind ‘Galliard – Forms in Movement’ by Barbara Hepworth, the first item in the museum collection, is the story behind the founding of the arts institution. Residents of the Wairarapa purchased the sculpture by the English modernist artist in 1963 to advocate for the establishment of an arts centre in the region.

Our doors would open six years later, in 1969.

The museum marked its 50th anniversary in 2019 with a major exhibition, public programmes, and a publication available for purchase.

Currently, Aratoi hosts between 25-30 exhibitions annually, delivers a free education programme to thousands of students, runs public programmes and a live performance series, and operates a museum shop.

The Aratoi collection remains the only public collection of art works in Wairarapa.

Mrkusich installation, main gallery
Milan Mrkusich - Chromatic Investigations and Paintings from the 90s (2014-15)