Aratoi joins the Wairarapa community in mourning the passing of Owen Prior. Owen was a lifelong supporter of Aratoi, with the sense of altruism and a love of art and history characteristic of the Prior family. The family’s connection to Aratoi dates back to our beginnings as the Wairarapa Art Centre and the Prior family has, over the decades, donated no less than 46 artworks and objects to Aratoi’s collection, enriching and expanding the arts and history of our region.
Aratoi was most recently the recipient of Owen’s generosity in the donation of a Moa bone and significant piece of pounamu presented to his father in the 1930s. A true friend to Aratoi, Owen was a vocal advocate for the Museum and the work we do to protect and promote our heritage and arts. He has left a legacy of generosity, and we will miss him greatly.