Eye to Eye: Portraits from the Collection


The portrait is one of the enduring themes throughout art history. A portrait is not merely a record of the subject’s physical features; it can offer a vivid sense of that person’s presence, and their status, wealth, and character.

From Colin McCahon’s charcoal-on-paper portrait (1942-43) of his wife, the artist Anne McCahon to 19th-century tīpuna portraits by Gottfried Lindauer and a contemporary etching by Wairarapa artist Stephen Allwood, a selection of portraits sourced from the Aratoi Collection, spanning a period of 200 years, underpin the premise that portraiture delivers well beyond the depiction of physical features to offer a portal into a person’s place in the world.