The New Zealand Portrait Gallery helps educate via outreach and education programmes to schools and tertiary institutions. 

We also provides frequent seminars, lecture series, musical events and theatrical events associated with exhibitions. Keep an eye out on our future events page for up to date information on current programming. 

Ruby Eade with Kapiti Primary School students, visiting the New Zealand Portrait Gallery as part of the 150 Buses Project. Photo credit: Neil Mackenzie

School Groups

We welcome visits from schools (from pre-schools to university) and education groups including professional development visits for educators.

Visits are 40 - 60 minuites long and groups are usually divided into 15 students; adult supervision is required at all times. Students’ behaviour safety and security are the responsibility of the visiting teacher.

To book your school group in for a programme contact -

Audience Engagement

Ruby Eade

Sign up for our education newsletter here.


Current Exhibitions and programmes - til October 16th

Melvin Day | Deane Gallery

Self-portraits by Wellington artist Melvin Day span from his youth in the 1940’s to shortly before he passed away in 2014. Explore the different ways an artist can depict themselves over time through colour and style. The two exhibitions in our main gallery space couldn’t be more different. Separated by 400 years the two exhibitions are examples of distinctly different examples of portraiture. 

The Rokeby Portraits | Family Portraits from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries

These traditional family portraits are filled with historical symbolism. Learn about the significance of portraiture in history and what different objects, poses, colours and clothing meant. Learn how to ‘read a portrait’ through the clues artists give us about the subjects position in society, personality and life.

Leitmotif | Abstract Portraits by Shannon Novak

Explore how sound, shape and colour interact in Shannon Novak’s abstract aura like portraits of friends, family, mentors and ancestors. Learn about Synaesthesia and how it mingles your senses. These portraits will stretch your student’s perception of portraiture – and encourage conceptual thinking through looking at the way we understand the self and ‘a likeness’. 


Tours and Groups

We welcome visits from groups, if you would like assistance from one of our gallery staff contact our Audience Engagement officer here