SEARCH THE COLLECTION
The Govett-Brewster houses an important permanent collection with
a focus on contemporary art from New Zealand and the Pacific. Collection strengths include conceptual art and abstract art from the 1970s and 1980s, with recent expansions of its Maori, Pacific and photographic holdings.
Image: Leon Narbey A Film of Real Time 1970. 16mm colour film (film still). Photo courtesy of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.
The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery holds a modest but significant collection of contemporary visual art works. The Govett-Brewster's long-held policy is to acquire works that represent current ideas and are significant in the development of the contemporary visual arts in the Pacific. The collection is intended to provide a usable resource for the Govett-Brewster's exhibition and education programmes rather than a repository for art historical artefacts.
In practice, the Govett-Brewster focuses on collecting work by emerging and mid-career New Zealand artists and artists from the Pacific. It acquires works that, while characteristic of the artists' output, are distinctive, are of exceptional quality or have some special relevance to the Govett-Brewster or the Pacific region. The resulting works from the Govett-Brewster's collection are in frequent demand for exhibitions throughout New Zealand and overseas.
Acquisitions are funded from income generated by bequests, principally the Monica Brewster bequest. Gifts of art works are from artists and other donors. Approval for all acquisitions is sought from the New Plymouth District Council. In the case of a disagreement between the Council and the Govett-Brewster Director, an advisory committee consisting of Directors of the four metropolitan New Zealand art museums may be asked to make a final decision.
The Govett-Brewster has an active de-accessioning policy, which is designed to keep the collection current and of a high standard. The de-accessioning process is subject to strict controls that are monitored by representatives from the art museum sector and the New Plymouth District Council.