Collection policy

The New Zealand Portrait Gallery is principally an exhibition gallery of works of portraiture encompassing all media. Our aim is to tell the stories of New Zealanders through the art of portraiture.

Portraits sought for the collection fall into four criteria:

  1. the subject is a New Zealander, either by birth or association;
  2. the subject and/or the artist is a significant figure in his or her field;
  3. the subject has been part of the history of New Zealand or is strongly linked to our culture; and
  4. the work or works form(s) part or the whole of a significant collection linked to the history of New Zealand.

Currently we expect the collection to expand largely through donations of works and while we cannot accept all items offered to us, we appreciate the generosity of potential donors who offer works that fulfil our criteria.

Any portrait offered to us will be assessed by an advisory panel convened by the Director. The donation will be confirmed in an exchange of letters.  Where necessary, the donor may be asked to retain the work under secure conditions until such time as we have confirmed that we have sufficient appropriate storage, when the work will be transferred to the Gallery’s keeping.

All portrait donations to the Gallery will be identified as a gift, with the donor’s name, date of the gift, and any other relevant details that the donor may wish to record.

With the current absence of an acquisitions fund required to develop a collection through purchase, the Gallery is particularly interested in receiving portrait bequests or the sponsorship of portraits.

Monetary legacies for the purchase of portrait works are also encouraged, either on a one-off basis for the purchase of works or through gifts to the endowment fund earmarked for future purchases.

To discuss a donation, sponsorship or bequest please contact:

Jaenine Parkinson, Director
Ph: (04) 472 2298
Email: Director