Art Gallery Collection Policy

1.0 Purpose
The Aigantighe Art Gallery Collection Policy provides a set of principles for the responsible stewardship and sharing though public access and use of collection art works held at Aigantighe Art Gallery. This Policy is supported by comprehensive operational guidelines, procedures and standards, such as the Museums Aotearoa Code of practice and is updated when necessary.

2.0 Background
Aigantighe is the name of the historic house that became the foundation of the Art Gallery in 1956. It was built in 1908 as the retirement home of Alexander Grant (1832 – 1921) and Helen Grant (1854 – 1955), who emigrated from Scotland and farmed Gray’s Hill Station in the Mackenzie Country. It was the wish of Mrs Grant that the Aigantighe became an art gallery for the general public. She lived in Aigantighe until her death in 1955. Her wishes were followed with the Aigantighe and surrounding grounds donated to the people of Timaru in 1955.

Aigantighe Art Gallery is the result of these 3 gifts which were given to the Timaru District Council. Aigantighe opened to the pubic in August 1956 with a collection of 80 works which comprised of the two art donations - the first from the Grant family and the second from the South Canterbury Arts Society.

Since that time the collection and gallery has grown exponentially with the Edwardian house displaying work from the permanent collection.

There are over 1500 pieces in the collection with around 10% of this collection on display at any one time.

Much of the collection was gifted either by direct donation or as a monetary bequest.

The rest of the collection includes a variety of works celebrating Victorian and Edwardian art works, Japanese prints, European prints, Australian art, Chinese art, Sculptures, Antique china and more.

The aim is to achieve a unified and balanced overall collection.

Background and context to the policy
The acquisition of works of art is central to an art museum function.
The Gallery will collect works of art which exemplify excellence, and / or are of historical and / or artistic significance to the Timaru District and wider Canterbury region and where appropriate (to strengthen existing parts of) to its collection art works by significant national and international artists.
The gallery will consider acquisitions of works of art by gift, bequest, purchase, transfer or exchange.
The relationship between cultural activities and education, employment, and economic development is well recognised by Central and Local Government policy. The presence of a respected Art Gallery institution contributes to local identity, pride of place, and social cohesion. It acts as a focal point for the artistic life of the district, celebrates the diversity of local communities, and provides a quality learning and leisure activity. It is a strong feature of the District and helps to attract new residents to the region along with tourists.


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