University Art Collection

The University of Waikato holds a nationally significant art collection which has been developed to enhance the cultural environment of the University.

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How it began

To cultivate an appreciation for the visual arts among staff, students, visitors, and the wider community, the University of Waikato Art Collection was conceived by staff and students in 1962, predating the establishment of the institution itself in 1964. This endeavour began with the acquisition of the sculpture 'Last of the Just' by Molly Macalister, made possible through funds raised within the budding University community.

Our Focus

The primary focus of the University of Waikato Art Collection is original works of contemporary Māori, Pacific and New Zealand art practitioners, particularly those who have an association with the Waikato and/or Bay of Plenty regions. Holding over 600 artworks the collection consists of a broad range of contemporary art and taonga including paintings, works on paper, photography, textiles, ceramics, sculpture, whakairo and mixed media, amongst others. It is displayed across both University of Waikato campuses in Hamilton and Tauranga.

The art collection includes work by many well-known Waikato artists, including Ida Carey, Joan Fear, Ruth Davey and Campbell Smith. Artists that have an association with the University such as Ted Bracey, Tom Field, John Bevan Ford and Donn Ratana are also well represented. Other artists of significance in the collection include Nigel Brown, Fiona Pardington, Michael Smither, Paul Dibble, Michael Illingworth, Buck Nin and Max Gimblett. There are also more than fifty sculptures and whakairo works sited around both campuses. 

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Art Collection Online

Explore a curated selection of our captivating art collection online at The University of Waikato Art Collection on NZ Museums.
Image Source: ©Max Gimblett, 'Universe', 2010 (detail).

Access and Enquiries

The art collection is available as a research resource for staff, students, external researchers and the community. Enquiries into the art collection are encouraged and can be directed to the Art Collection Curator,