Auckland Art Gallery gives locals a chance to see works from Picasso, Dali and Matisse

April 3, 2024

Auckland Art Gallery gives locals a chance to see works from Picasso, Dali and Matisse

Advertisements for The Robertson Gift can be found all around the city and are drawing in guests. Photo: Kate Rickard

The famous artworks will help build the gallery's reputation - Kenneth Brummel explains why.

Visitor numbers are increasing at the Auckland Art Gallery thanks to the addition of works from Picasso, Dali and Matisse.

The new addition, "The Robertson Gift’ exhibition, has increased its number of visitors since it opened in February, with over 300 guests attending the opening.

The exhibition celebrates the addition of 15 significant art pieces, gifted by philanthropists Julian and Josie Robertson.

These works are all by influential modern European artists and are valued at almost 200 million dollars.

For this reason, the gallery has received more visitors of a wide variety, including art connoisseurs, tourists and general members of the public.

Curator of the exhibition, Kenneth Brummel, highlights this variety of guests and exactly what the works mean to the gallery.

“There are people who are looking at paintings for a long amount of time there are other people who are simply snapping a photograph and then moving on.

“I think everyone here when this gift was first discussed, everyone here was abuzz with excitement and was really excited about the opportunity that the gift presented.”

With this gift, the gallery will now be able to negotiate loans with other organisations as Auckland finally has something to bring to the table.

Now that the gallery owns works by the likes of Picasso, Matisse and Dali, Brummel believes they will be able to organise their own exhibition on one of those artists.

“The institution knew this would essentially transform our collection and it would enable us to offer an experience in modern art that we were previously was unable to.”

On top of these benefits for the gallery, there is a general curiosity from the public, one of the most popular pieces being one by Salvador Dali which is widely loved due to its scandalous nature.

With the help of this exhibition, the gallery now hopes to bring in more pieces like the ones in The Robertson Gift, to draw in even more guests.

The exhibition opened on February 9 and will run till February 1 2026, in the hope that the excitement around it will keep growing.

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