The Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui at Pukenamu, Queen's Park Whanganui is currently closed for redevelopment. The temporary premises at Sarjeant on the Quay, 38 Taupo Quay currently house the Sarjeant Collection, and all exhibitions and events. The Sarjeant Gallery is a regional art museum with a collection of international and New Zealand art.
Founding and building
The Sarjeant was built as the result of a bequest to the city by Henry Sarjeant in 1912. Sarjeant bequeathed the money "for the inspiration of ourselves and those who come after us". A competition was held to select an architect for the project; the winner was Dunedin architect Edmund Anscombe, but it is likely the actual design was completed by a young student in his offices names Donald Hosie. The cruciform, neo-classical style gallery was opened in 1919. Four galleries branch off a central space capped with an oculus in a hemispherical dome.
The building is registered with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (now Heritage New Zealand) as a Category I Historic Place with registration number 167, and has the highest possible listing under the New Zealand Historic Places Trust Act.
There are more than 8,300 artworks in the gallery's collection, spanning 400 years. Initially focused on 19th and early 20th century British and European art but, given the expansive terms of the will of benefactor Henry Sarjeant, the collection now spans 16th century through to the 21st century. Among the collections are historic and modern works in all media – on paper, sculptures, pottery, ceramics and glass; bronze works; video art; and paintings by contemporary artists and old masters. International artists featured in the collection include Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Domenico Piola, Frank Brangwyn, Bernardino Poccetti, Gaspard Dughet, William Richmond, William Etty, Lelio Orsi, Frederick Goodall, and Augustus John. Among the New Zealand born or based artists featured in the collection are Colin McCahon, Ralph Hotere, Pat Hanly, Peter Nicholls, Charles Frederick Goldie, Gottfried Lindauer and Petrus van der Velden.
The majority of the collection is accessible online: Explore the Sarjeant Gallery collection
Tylee Cottage Residency
Sarjeant Gallery Redevelopment Project
The Christchurch-based architecture firm Warren and Mahoney won a competition for the redevelopment of the Sarjeant Gallery in 1999. This redevelopment includes seismic strengthening, restoration and the addition of a north-facing extension which will not be visible from the iconic south-facing facade.
In 2014, as fundraising for the redevelopment continued, the entire Sarjeant collection and gallery shifted to new, temporary premises on Taupo Quay, in central Whanganui where the exhibitions program is ongoing. The ambitious $35million redevelopment project was green-lit in December 2017 when crucial fundraising deadlines were met and consequently Government confirmed the release of $10million in pledged funds. As a result, the redevelopment project is now contracting, with the restoration and construction feted to commence in 2019 one hundred years after the Sarjeant Gallery was built. The strengthened, restored and extended Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui will re-open in 2021.
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