The History of New Zealand art is explored in the Hocken Pictorial Collections exhibition “Highlights at Hocken”. The development of the Pictorial Collection parallels that of New Zealand art from the historical and documentary to the contemporary. From relatively small beginnings, the Pictorial Collection now houses over 17,000 artworks and 1 million photographs and negatives of national significance.
Before gifting the foundation collection in 1910, Dr Thomas Morland Hocken acquired his pictorial collection of art and photographs to document the history of New Zealand. To him, the information that they could provide to increase the viewers’ understanding of significant events and places to our history was paramount. The collection developed over time to include contemporary works, partly due to the generous support of major donors like Charlton Edgar, Charles Brasch and Rodney Kennedy and relationships with artists and photographers like Colin McCahon, Ralph Hotere and Franz Barta.
Text extracted from the University of Otago Library website.