|27 May, 1997|
A selection of the rare and wonderful will be on display whenTreasures in Trust which commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Alexander Turnbull bequest opens at the Robert McDougall Art Gallery on 12 June, 1997. This major touring exhibition includes nearly 100 works from the Librarys renowned collection.
When Alexander Turnbull died in 1918, he left his magnificent library to the New Zealand Government to form the nucleus of a national collection. This gift remains one of the most significant acts of philanthrophy in New Zealand history. Turnbull amassed some 55,000 items, including books, manuscripts, paintings, maps, and photographs. Today, the Manuscripts and Archives Collection alone occupies more than 6 kilometres of shelving.
The library has continued to receive gifts from donors, some of which are included in the exhibition. The exhibits in Treasures in Trust have been selected to show the richness and diversity of the collection. Highlights include watercolours by Charles Heaphy and William Fox, rarely shown out of Wellington, important Maori portraits, photographs of Shackletons 1914-16 Antarctic expedition and the sinking of the "SS Endurance." The oldest known complete book in New Zealand, Boethiuss De Musica,
c.1130, from the original collection, will be another highlight of the exhibition.
Visitors to the Gallery will enjoy a feast of beautiful objects including oil and watercolour paintings, rare illuminated manuscripts, books, maps and photographs - all representing major events in New Zealands history. These treats can be sampled at the Robert McDougall Art Gallery from 12 June until 3 August, 1997.
The accompanying Public Programme for Treasures in Trust features a series of lectures focusing on the heritage aspect of this show.
The Robert McDougall Art Gallery is Christchurchs public art gallery which features regularly changing exhibitions of international and New Zealand historical and contemporary art. The McDougall Art Annex is one of New Zealands leading contemporary art venues. The Robert McDougall Art Gallery is located behind Canterbury Museum in the Botanic Gardens. The McDougall Art Annex is situated across Rolleston Avenue in the Arts Centre, Worcester Boulevard. Hours at both galleries are 10 a.m. until 4.30 p.m. daily. Free guided tours are available between 11 a.m. & 3 p.m. daily. Admission is free.