Get your New Zealand art and culture fix at the newly renovated Toi o Tamaki Art Gallery in Auckland. With over 16,000 pieces spanning many centuries and exhibited over three levels, the sheer amount of art on display is impressive and supports the gallery’s dedication to community and innovation.
Auckland’s premier art gallery Toi o Tamaki is a sight to behold. Located in the bustling city of Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island, the gallery recently underwent renovations and now has an enormous new addition.
Its award-winning design is the result of direct interaction with the community: citizens of Auckland were asked what they wanted – and the architects delivered. The light-filled NEW Gallery made of glass and patterned wood sits across the road from the original French château structure from the 1870s. It also takes advantage of nearby Albert Park, once a Māori fortified village.
Within its walls, the museum is a hotspot for creation and interaction. With the aim of providing art for all, the gallery has no entrance fees (some special exhibitions may require admission fees) and the opening hours are from 10am to 5pm every day except for Christmas.
There is also an assortment of activities for the whole family, with daily tours at 11:30am and 1:30pm and activities for both young and old. Parents with kids should be sure to check out the Creative Learning Centre where kids can interact with art installations. Film screenings, demonstrations and lectures are regularly scheduled for adults, as well.
The artwork itself is a fascinating variety, with pieces from world-renowned artists such as Picasso, Cezanne, Guido Reni, Matisse, and more. Must-sees are the 19th-century portraits of tattooed Māori subjects by Charles Goldie. Just make sure to leave your camera in your pocket in that part of the gallery; out of respect the museum prohibits photos of the portraits. After a walk around the exhibitions, head across to Albert Park and visit the cafe to grab some grub and have a picnic on the grass.