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



July 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
14:00 Sunday Concert Series..

15:59 Recovery closes..

10:00 July Holiday Programme..

10:00 July Holiday Programme..

10:00 July Holiday Programme..

10:00 100 Days Show..

10:00 July Holiday Programme..

10:00 July Holiday Programme..


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Flying Moas
Gisborne Arts Collective 1986 – 1995

  17 June 2017 – 13 August 2017

Opening 5.30pm 16 June 2017

In the US of A during the ‘80s, the graffiti outpouring of Neo-Expressionists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring made a dramatic shift from the ubiquitous streets of New York to the premier art gallery circuit.

In a similar timeframe, with a quick change of scenery, we relocate to the Gisborne art scene where a small group of artist enthusiasts have become enlivened with a healthy dose of ‘80s swagger. From group discussions a plan evolves offering a wider audience access to and acknowledgment of the neighbourhood ‘avant-garde’.

This small band of artists quickly increases in size and is just as quickly baptised the ‘Flying Moas’. They become a beacon for all things arty. The ‘Flying Moas’ gallery once established becomes a hub for rapid fire exhibition changes, awash with social commentary and standing room only at opening nights.

We now relive this productive era with artworks selected from 1986 – 1995 to the present day. From the original group of thirty, 21 Moas participate, an event marked by an insightful publication by Sheridan Gundry that tracks the historical flight path of the Flying Moas, available for purchase with grateful thanks to sponsors the Friends of the Museum.

100 Days Show - Gisborne 

  24 June 2017 – 10 December 2017

Opening 5.30pm 23 June

   Day 18: Hei Tiki Two Bit Punk From Frisco.Song of the Day: Ramones, 'Beat on the Brat'. Album: Ramones, 1976.Lina Marsh 2016

Founded in 2011 the 100 Days Project is an annual event that runs, (you guessed it!), for 100 consecutive days. The brainchild of this project, New Zealand graphic designer Emma Rogan, says, ‘in order to survive this 100 day marathon you need to be disciplined, have creative flexibility and lots and lots of energy’. Other than two simple rules - choose one creative activity to repeat every day for 100 days, and record each daily effort – there is no skill pre-requisite, no age restriction, no fees and you can participate from anywhere in the world.

100 Days Show - Gisborne sees eight artists from this region and their projects from 2016, with some artists adding works from previous years’ 100-day projects. The show kicks off with a group exhibition, followed by solo exhibitions by each individual artist. For some exhibitors workshops for children and in-gallery art demonstrations may accompany these exhibitions.

-Lina Marsh

Gisborne Artists' and Potters Group 

  19 August 2017 – 24 September 2017

Opening 5.30pm 18 August 2017

  Autumn Fantasy  by Heather Van Wyk

Painters can have a reputation for being reclusive. Unless they are inclined to draw or paint in public, no one but their immediate family or friends are likely to see them in action or results of their efforts.

The annual Gisborne Artists’ Society and Gisborne Pottery Group exhibition is an opportunity for artists to show the locals what they have been up to over the previous year.

Artists to look out for this year include landscape artists Roger Shanks and Graeme Nicoll. Erika Holden, who is well known on the local scene can be relied upon to submit art which is original and visually stimulating. Based in Tokomaru Bay, Philippa Knight creates beautiful paintings, which are often picked up quickly by the discerning art enthusiast. Two of Gisborne’s young, up-and-coming local artists to look out for are Amber Graham and Isabella Grant.

Artists enjoy producing art for the sake of it, but it is always more gratifying when others view and appreciate the end result. Make sure you pop in and check the exhibition out.

-Chris Smith

Recent Acquisitions 2015 – 2017

  24 August 2017 – 24 September 2017

   York Hutchinson by Allan Barns-Graham

The Tairāwhiti Museum’s fine arts collection is bespoke for this region, and to be shared in perpetuity. The cornerstone for developing a meaningful museum collection is proactive and selective gathering and preserving of historical ‘values’.

Continued growth of the fine arts collection is often due to the generosity of sponsors and donors. Accepting incoming works is not a given no matter how generous an offer. All must first be processed and measured for their significance, relevance, educational worth and whether storage requirements are adequate. In a public collection, an artwork should ideally lend itself to a myriad of differing uses, becoming more than the artist’s statement.

This exhibition of artworks or ‘values’ has been selected from works gathered since 2015. They explore unchartered chapters that thread and whisper through the fabric of local communities, encapsulating signature styles that most local visitors will instantly respond to and recognize.


RECOVERY: Women Who Served Overseas In World War One

  24 March 2017 – 16 July 2017

Opening & book launch 5pm 24 March



Making visible the work that New Zealand women undertook overseas during World War One (WW1) is what this exhibition is about. I wanted to recover a range of New Zealand women’s work outside of New Zealand during WW1 as well as the research I undertook to recover their stories.

The women featured have connections to the East Coast. Between 1915 and 1919 they served with the armed services or as volunteers with 12 different service organisations within war zones in Turkey, Egypt, France, Serbia, Greece, Italy, Palestine, East Africa as well as in England. Many were highly decorated. All who served had their lives changed forever. That so many women and men from the East Coast served overseas in WW1 is remarkable for the relatively small population at the time.


Because only a sample of the women could be included in the Exhibition I have written a 172 page illustrated book providing further detail plus annotated profiles of other women from the East Coast who served overseas in WW1.


This exhibition is the result of collaboration between the Tairāwhiti Museum, the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), The Gisborne Herald and the Nurses and Midwives of Tairāwhiti (NAMOT).


Kay Morris Matthews

Intervention Series - John Roy

  Now Showing


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.‘





  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.


 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 -