Tairawhiti Museum and Art Gallery
Rich in Gisborne, East Coast history
Rich in Gisborne, East Coast history Poverty Bay - taonga maori
Tairawhiti Museum and Art Gallery


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Rich in Gisborne, East Coast history

Poverty Bay - taonga maori



February 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat



Intervention Series - John Roy

  September 2016


Tauranga based artist John Roy is noted for his highly decorative, figurative ceramics. His current touring ‘Intervention series’ are wall-based installations which occupy spaces in unexpected ways.

‘I see interventions as an interesting way of creating dialogues with gallery space, how we look at the space. These ceramic works act as colourful abstract patterns creeping across the wall or lurking in corners. In this way the installation has multiple interpretations depending on personal experiences.‘


A Visual Journey - Judy le Maistre Smith

  12 November 2016 – 15 January 2017

   Opening: 11 November, 5.30pm


                                      Kookaburra, New South Wales

Take seven sketchbooks, three relating to ceramic sculpture, and four visual travel diaries covering Greece, USA, Peru and Australia. Over the past three years I have put together a body of work which includes ceramics, painting and printmaking.


The sketchbooks, diaries and ceramics were produced in Scotland, where I trained at Glasgow School of Art and spent a career as a practicing artist and Art College Lecturer. The printmaking was undertaken under the guidance of the Gisborne Artists' Society Printmaking Group, and the paintings were created over the last 12 years whilst living in Gisborne, NZ.


Drawing and research has always been the backbone of my artistic work. My interest in ancient cultures has also greatly influenced me in creating these pieces. I hope the viewers of this exhibition will be able to identify with the source material and interact with the work on display.


Judy le Maistre Smith


  Opens 12 November 2016 

Family photographs are one of our greatest personal treasures. The family photo album is the one item people consider they would ‘grab’ in a fire. We see them as a collection of life’s memories rather than an assemblage of images.

The museum regularly receives donations of family photographic collections. Some are beautifully set out and each photograph described and identified, some sadly are ‘found’, perhaps in an attic, with little or no information on the people and places depicted within.

The Mahunga Collection is a collection of early twentieth century photographs donated by the Briant family. Most of the family can be identified, dates can be estimated, places and sites can be recognised but a lot of the occasions and particulars have been lost in the passing of time.

The Mahunga Collection depicts the establishment of the Mahunga farm station situated on the Te Wera Road near Matawai. The images transport us to the early 1900s and an insight to family and farming life in an isolated rural environment.

The museum wishes to thank the Briant family for their donation, creating this exhibition and to acknowledge the long time support of Bob Briant.


 Ko Rongowhakaata

 17 December 2016 – 2 April 2017

Opening 17 December, 10am

Mauri Tangata

Mauri Kôrero

Mauri Whenua

Te kotahi â Tûrâhiri, ripo ana te moana.

Descendants of Tûrâhiri, ancestress of the Rongowhakaata people, are progenitors of unique talents, innovation and craftsmanship; a quality that has rippled and propagated throughout the land and throughout Rongowhakaata history. These qualities continue to exist in the Rongowhakaata uri (descendants) today and will be reflected in this exhibition.

This exhibition is the second part of a three-part exhibition series for Rongowhakaata. Part one was the successful Rongowhakaata marae based exhibition earlier this year and part three will be the iwi exhibition at Te Papa Tongarewa in 2017. This exhibition is about Rongowhakaata reaffirming who they are as a people, and re-telling their stories in their homelands so that the next generation can hear, see, and feel Rongowhakaata history and the unique experiences that build the fabric of the Rongowhakaata people. It is an immersion into facets of the world of Rongowhakaata people, both old and new, as expressed through their historical and contemporary arts.




Kôwhaiwhai panel (section) from Manutûkç Church, 1849 -1863 


a-hoe! -Steve Gibbs


  21 January 2017 – 19 March 2017
Preview: 20 January 2017, 5.30pm 

                                                                           Name Changer




exclamation. Nautical.


‘a’, an English particle and, ‘hoe’, a Māori term for ‘paddle’. Adapted from the English exclamation ‘ahoy’; a call used to greet someone or draw attention to something from a distance: ahoy there! | land ahoy!


SEE: waka, water, travel, time - Wā


mid 18th cent.: from ah + hoy1


a-hoe!. A series of works based on the first and subsequent encounters that took place between Tangata whenua and tauiwi in Turanganui a kiwa.


• a metaphor for travel through water, time and space.
• the cultural disconnect when taonga tuku iho are removed from cultural memory
• The journey that we as people have been on since those initial encounters


Steve Gibbs


 Gladstone Road

  Now showing

   Horse racing in Gladstone Road

Gladstone Road, named after British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, has been the main street of Gisborne (Tûranga) since its establishment in the late 1860s.

Hotels, banks, retailers, churches, halls, theatres, a post office, a courthouse, and a newspaper have all resided on Gladstone Road.

The popularity of Gladstone Road has ensured its capture by way of photography. The museum photographic collection has a good coverage of the central business area over a number of decades. The Gladstone Road exhibition will feature some of the more interesting images of the road and the buildings associated with it.

In 1975 a photographic survey of Gladstone Road from Reads Quay to Roebuck Road was made by a university student and donated to the museum. A similar survey was made in 1993. Maybe it is time to produce another? The 1975 photographs will be 'merged' together resulting in a long continuous view of each side of Gladstone Road that will run along the walls of the photographic gallery.



 Jack C Richards Decorative Arts Gallery



One of the major attractions at the long awaited grand opening of the museum extensions will be the purpose built and specifically designed gallery displaying Dr Jack C Richard’s eclectic collection. Taking centre stage, decorative vessels highlighting the beauty that is Art Deco and Art Nouveau by the great masters of French glass René Lalique and Émile Gallé.

Over the years, the museum has been granted privileged access to the Richard’s collection which enabled the exhibition team to produce a selection of exhibitions. In 2010 ‘Power Dressing’ curatored by Dr Damian Skinner featured the breathtaking elegance of 20 Chinese and Korean robes. In 2011 the museum presented two exhibitions, the dazzling, eye-popping ‘Guatemalan textiles’ of the Mayan culture and the lavish ornamentation of ‘Le Style Lalique’.

It is safe to say that all of these items will have their day in this designated gallery. The collection is ever growing with numerous surprises in store that will ensure visitors will delight in sharing the joy of this private collection offered for public viewing.

See video of the opening of the gallery -