50/fifty - 50 Years of Aratoi


Aratoi celebrates its first 50 years with an exhibition representing 50 years of collecting. With more than 3000 items to choose from it has been no easy task, but the selection reflects the highlights and significant events, as well as the many gifts received, that have helped form the Aratoi collection.

From the obvious, such as work by Colin McCahon, Robin White and Barbara Hepworth, to the less obvious: an 1869 ship’s biscuit with a tale to tell of the visit of a prince; from Taonga Māori to botanical sketches and contemporary art to photographs of early settlement, there will be some surprises as items never shown before emerge into the light.

The 50th celebrations include public events, an education programme, and a publication.

Exhibition Opening: Friday, 16 August 5.30pm -  the exhibition is curated by Bronwyn Reid. Wairarapa Mayors Lyn Patterson (Masterton), Viv Napier (South Wairarapa) and John Booth (Carterton) will officiate. Guest Speaker: Luit Bieringa. MC: Bob Francis, QSE, MBE.

Floor Talk: Saturday, 17 August 11am - Director Susanna Shadbolt & Collection Manager Bronwyn Reid

Barbara Hepworth, Galliard – Forms in Movement (1956), copper and bronze, Collection of Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History
Barbara Hepworth, Galliard – Forms in Movement (1956), copper and bronze, Collection of Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History


Free Lecture Series every second SUNDAY from 1 September, at 2pm

1/9          The 1970s – Luit Bieringa, former Aratoi Director, Director National Art Gallery (1979-89)

15/9       The 1980s – Barbara Roydhouse, Chair of Aratoi Regional Trust

29/9       The 1990s – Bob Francis QSO MBE, Mayor of Masterton (1986-2007)

13/10     The 2000s – Richard Arlidge, former Aratoi Director

27/10     The 2010s – Dame Robin White, Honorary Patron of Aratoi


Book launch - "50 years in 50 objects": Friday, 11 October, 5:30pm

This publication with full-colour illustrations, and texts written by Bronwyn Reid, Elizabeth Bisley, Jill Trevelyan, and Sian van Dyk and edited by Gregory O'Brien and Lydia Wevers, will be launched on 11 October 2019, our 50th birthday. 

50th Anniversary Dinner: Copthorne Solway Park, Thursday, 31 October, 6pm (charges apply)



Proudly supported by

  Hansells logo    GOODEYE   Resene sponsor