Blockbusters at the Auckland Art Gallery 1970-2020

University of Auckland

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Blockbusters at the Auckland Art Gallery 1970-2020

  • Host University

    University of Auckland

  • Location

    Auckland, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Art History, New Zealand Culture

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Project Description

    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.

    Researcher’s Work

    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.

    Required Skills/Pre-requisites

    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.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.