4 May 2009
This content is tagged as Visual arts .
Celia Dunlop collection of New Zealand 250 works by 121 artists at The New Dowse
Wallace Wing, TheNewDowse
45 Laings Road Lower Hutt www.newdowse.org.nz
“I consider myself lucky to have enjoyed our happy association over 36 years now . . . we have built a lot of my collection together. The different parts of it – the paintings and sculpture, craft and contemporary jewellery – thrill me every day.”
Letter from Celia Dunlop to art dealer Peter McLeavey
A well-known Wellingtonian, Celia Dunlop died from cancer in 2008. It was her wish that her collection be recorded for her children and grandchildren. Celia also believed that private collectors play an important role in allowing the public to experience the huge breadth and quality of New Zealand art.
During her lifetime, Celia collected over 250 art works by 121 artists. She was attracted to paintings, works on paper, ceramics and contemporary jewellery. Usually armed with hundreds of dollars rather than thousands, she purchased works to mark significant occasions, to reflect her values and beliefs, and to test the traditions and conventions of her upbringing and her willingness to remain open to new experiences. The result is an idiosyncratic and deeply personal collection, which expresses the significant role that art can play in a person’s life.
After 40 years of collecting, Celia declared art to be “not great for the budget, but wonderful for the soul”. Jill Trevelyan notes “Although she acquired works by renowned artists such as Gordon Walters and Ralph Hotere, Celia’s is not a ‘trophy’ collection… if she had to choose between continuing to drive a rusty old car or a new artwork, she would invariably choose the art”.
The Celia Dunlop Trust has produced a beautiful book of the collection. The book documents the collection in its entirety, and features a contextual essay by art historian Jill Trevelyan. All proceeds from the book will go to the Mary Potter Hospice.
For more information and images, or to request an interview with Hamish Dunlop, Jill Trevelyan or TheNewDowse Concept Developer Claire Regnault, please contact: