Blockbusters at the Auckland Art Gallery 1970-2020
University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand
Area of Study
Art History, New Zealand Culture
Taught In English
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3 - 4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4 - 6
Hours & Credits
During the latter part of the twentieth century, the Auckland Art Gallery changed its programming up a gear during the winter months to entice visitors to exhibitions with paid entry. Usually focussing on a selection of works by a European “master” painter (e.g. Vincent Van Gogh, Monet), these saw crowds of visitors queuing around the block from the Kitchener Street entrance. Garnering kudos for Director Rodney Wilson, this approach to gallery programming lost favour after 9/11 (2001) when exhibition insurances required government indemnity, as high value assets were deemed to be at most risk when airborne. However, 2020 will see a return to the blockbuster at AAG with exhibitions by Monet, Hiroshige and Hokusai planned for roll out in the early part of the year. Attendance numbers will be closely monitored, not least by the RFA which has provided extra seed funding of $2 million for these ventures.
Research the impact of “blockbuster” exhibitions at AAG over the past fifty years, using newspaper clippings, TV and Radio archives, photographic resources, exhibition visitors’ books and exhibition files. This will require working at the library at AAG for four days accessing exhibition files, and spending the fifth day using on campus resources to document how these exhibitions were marketed and promoted through journals and magazines such as Art New Zealand, and also radio, TV and newspapers.
Expertise in using documentary heritage resources in research. Ability to work in a professional environment (Auckland Art Gallery Research Library) and take notes in an orderly and systematic fashion.
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