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Blockbuster Fletcher Show for Waikato Museum

26 February 2015

fletcher collection sharpe

Eighty paintings from the rarely seen Fletcher Collection are to be shown at Waikato Museum for the very first time from Saturday 14 March. 

In a rare move, the Fletcher Trust, owners of New Zealand’s largest remaining corporate collection, has made its finest paintings available to the Museum while the Fletcher Building complex in Auckland undergoes renovation. 

“This exhibition will bring together the treasures of the collection for the very first time, including what is believed to be the very first oil painting made of a New Zealand subject,” said Chairman of the Trust, Angus Fletcher.

Recently purchased from an English vendor and never before exhibited in this country, William Hodges’ oil sketch Dusky Bay, New Zealand was painted in April 1773 on a piece of wood given to the artist by the ship’s carpenter on Captain Cook’s second voyage.

“All of New Zealand’s great painters are represented in The Fabulous Fletcher Collection,” says Waikato Museum Director, Cherie Meecham. “This is a unique opportunity for the public. Shows like this are extremely rare.”

The paintings, worth in excess of $6 million, include important historical works from the early nineteenth century right up to the most contemporary paintings made recently by this country’s emerging artists.

The Fletcher Collection was started in 1962 when Sir James Fletcher and his colleague George Fraser replaced the photos of racehorses that hung on the board room walls with four Coromandel watercolours by JBC Hoyte. These four works are included in the exhibition.

The Fabulous Fletcher Collection opens at Waikato Museum on 14 March and will be on show until 21 June 2015. 

Image: A Peep at Coromandel from the Whangapoua Bridle Track, Alfred Sharpe, The Fletcher Trust Collection


For more information contact:

Louise Belay
Waikato Museum Partnerships and Communications Manager
07 838 6956
021 536 557