fifty/fifty 50 Years of Aratoi

fifty/fifty - 50 Years of Aratoi

In 2019, Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, in Masterton, celebrates its first 50 years of existence with an exhibition representing 50 years of collecting: fifty/fifty - 50 years of Aratoi.

With more than 3,000 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: 16 August, 5.30pm

Public talk: Susanna Shadbolt & Bronwyn Reid: 17 August, 11am

FREE PUBLIC FLOORTALKS every 2nd Sunday from 1 September, 2pm

1/9 - The 1970s – Luit Bieringa, former Aratoi Director, Director of the National Art Gallery (1979-89)
15/9 - The 1980s – Barbara Roydhouse, Chair of Aratoi Regional Trust, Wairarapa Arts Foundation Committee member (1984-89) and Chair (1989-93)
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

A free education programme will run alongside the exhibition from Term 3, supported by Masterton Trust Lands Trust and T G Macarthy Trust.                                            

Publication launch: 11 October (our actual birthday) 5.30pm, with texts by Gregory O'Brien, Sian van Dyk, Bronwyn Reid, Jill Trevelyan and others.                                                                                                   

The exhibition continues until 10 November.                                                                                                            

Aratoi is open daily, 10-4, Koha is welcome.

Aratoi issues this media release just ahead of International Museums Day (May 18), and Ko Aotearoa Tēnei – This is New Zealand (May 22-24), the annual conference of Museums Aotearoa, of which it is a member.                                                                                                                                                                        

– Ends –                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

About Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History

Residents of the Wairarapa purchased ‘Galliard – Forms in Movement’ by Barbara Hepworth in 1963, the first item in the collection, to advocate for the establishment of an arts centre in the region. The institution is the first in New Zealand to own a sculpture by the modernist artist. The doors would open six years later, in 1969. Currently, the museum hosts approximately 25 exhibitions annually, delivers an education programme to thousands of students, runs a live performance series, and operates a museum shop. The Aratoi collection remains the only public collection of art works in the Wairarapa.