New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts

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Current home of the Academy, the Wharf Offices building

The New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts (also known as the Wellington Art Society) was founded by William Beetham the esteemed portrait painter in 1882. The galleries were opened as a free public gallery on Whitmore Street in 1892. In 1936 the Academy sold their land and donated the proceeds to the new Dominion Museum and National Art Gallery of New Zealand on the provision that they would be accommodated in the new New Zealand Dominion Museum building on Buckle Street.

When the National Museum and the National Art Gallery of New Zealand moved to Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa the Academy was paid compensation to enable it to establish itself elsewhere.

The Academy is now located in the Wharf Offices building at 1 Queens Wharf.

The Governor-General of New Zealand is the traditional patron of the Academy.

The 2000 refurbishment won the New Zealand Institute of Architects award.[1]


The council of the Academy bestows the Governor-General's Award periodically to an artist who is a member of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, and who has made a significant contribution to the arts in New Zealand over an extended period of time. A maximun of one award is made in any given year. The recipient also becomes a fellow of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts. The list of fellowships awarded to date is shown below.[2]

Year Name Notes
1983 Evelyn Page
1984 Bill Sutton
1985 Peter McIntyre
1986 Brian Brake
1988 Roy Cowan
1989 John Drawbridge
1990 Doris Lusk
1991 Doreen Blumhardt
1992 Rangimarie Hetet
1993 Raymond Boyce
1994 Shona McFarlane
1996 Tui McLauchlan
2000 Philip Markham
2003 Mirek Smíšek
2004 Nahleen Markham Honorary award
2006 Avis Higgs
2007 Robin Kay
2009 Jeanne Macaskill


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Fellowship". New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 

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