Whanganui is fortunate to have the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua in the heart of the city. The Sarjeant Gallery at Pukenamu Queen's Park is a category one heritage listed building and is an iconic and widely-recognised piece of New Zealand's built history. The Sarjeant holds a permanent collection of more than 8300 art works of national significance, covering four centuries of European art history and all of New Zealand's art history.
With an ongoing programme of exhibitions and events, the Sarjeant Gallery is an important community hub open and accessed by all – locals and visitors alike.
Temporary premises and redevelopment
Sarjeant Gallery currently operates from temporary premises – Sarjeant on the Quay – at 38 Taupō Quay, Whanganui. Here you will find the Sarjeant's exhibitions, events, education services and the Sarjeant on the Quay shop.
The original Sarjeant Gallery at Pukenamu Queen’s Park is temporarily closed for a major redevelopment project due to begin in late 2019. The building, first opened in 1919, – currently meets less than 5% of the current building code and staff and art works were relocated to Sarjeant on the Quay in 2014.
The Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment project will see the original Gallery earthquake-strengthened and restored, and a new wing constructed at the rear. This wing will securely house the Sarjeant Collection and will extend the gallery's capabilities with increased exhibition and event spaces, a shop, education facilities and a cafe.
With a current visitorship of approximately 40,000 per year at Sarjeant on the Quay, the redeveloped Sarjeant Gallery will greatly increase Whanganui’s regional, national and international tourism and contribute artistically, socially and economically to Whanganui and the wider region.
For more information about the Sarjeant Gallery’s redevelopment project please visit the Sarjeant Gallery website.
About the Sarjeant Gallery
The Sarjeant was built as a result of a significant bequest to the city of Whanganui by local landowner and farmer Henry Sarjeant, who died in in 1912. The building is built in the shape of a neo-classical Greek cross and is clad in Oamaru stone. It has a 14-foot dome, a natural lighting system and was known as the ‘Rolls Royce of galleries’. The building has significant historic and architectural value to Whanganui and New Zealand.
The Sarjeant is recognised as one of the best galleries in regional New Zealand and enhances Whanganui as a place to live and visit. The collection began in 1901, and in the first few decades was focused on 19th and early 20th century British and European works. Since the late 1920s the main focus for collection development has been New Zealand art, both historical and contemporary.
The Sarjeant collection now is seen as one of New Zealand’s most significant and has over 8,000 pieces of New Zealand and international art, spanning 400 years.
Services provided by the Gallery include:
- free access to the gallery and artworks for the general public, the artistic community, students and visitors to Whanganui
- a relevant program of quality exhibitions, forums and events
- educational services to schools in and around the area
- advocacy for art and cultural matters
- complete digital access to the entire collection via Explore the Collection
- developing and maintaining Whanganui’s precious taonga, including the collection
- adding value to the community through prudent and well-informed management and stewardship of resources
- maintenance of the heritage building to preserve its architectural significance and status.
The normal opening hours at the Sarjeant on the Quay are Monday to Sunday 10.30am to 4.30pm.
On Anzac Day the Gallery is open from 1pm to 4.30pm. On Christmas Day and Good Friday the Gallery is closed.
Entry to the Gallery is free. Koha/donations are very welcome and much appreciated.
Explore the Collection online
The entire Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua collection is available to anyone with a computer through Explore the Collection, the gallery’s digital collection portal.
Explore the Collection has attracted national and international attention for its originality and cost-effective ingenuity. This digital collection meets international standards and has features that are unique in New Zealand, such as the ability to browse artworks by dominant colour. Other search options include artist, subject, year, medium and nationality.
In November 2018 the Sarjeant was named winner of the Best New Digital Collection or Exhibition Award at the cultural sector’s National Digital Forum in Wellington. In 2019 it again won Best Digital Collection Award at the national Digital Forum.
The Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui exists because of the very generous gift and vision of the founding benefactor Henry Sarjeant. Indeed, many of the works in the Sarjeant’s important permanent collection have come to the Sarjeant by way of donations, bequests and legacies over the last 100 years. The Sarjeant is very grateful for these gestures, which are recognised as being most important in the ongoing development of the Sarjeant Gallery and its collections.
Currently the focus is on securing the capital funds necessary to progress the Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment project. This redevelopment will ultimately protect and preserve the Sarjeant collection for future generations, protect the nationally important heritage building and improve access to the collections for local, national and international visitors and students.
Ways to support us
There are many ways to help support the Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment project, and your help is greatly appreciated.
Becoming one of our Thousand Stars entails a donation commitment of $1,000 which can be made over a four-year period. Hundreds of local people are currently engaged in this programme, many paying just $5 a week. This indicates the tremendous level of grassroots support in Whanganui for the redevelopment.
Thousand Stars contributors will be recognised in the redeveloped Gallery and are invited to events and exhibition openings.
Sarjeant Business Partners
Many businesses have chosen to become Sarjeant Business Partners – which involves contributing $5,000 to the redevelopment in monthly or quarterly payments, or as a one-off payment.
Sarjeant Business Partners will be recognised in the redeveloped Gallery and are invited to events and exhibition openings.
Still more businesses, corporations, trusts, charities and individuals have chosen to make a donation to a level and schedule of their own choosing and this can be facilitated by calling Relationship Officer Jaki Arthur on (06) 349 3268 or (027) 577 4923 or emailing email@example.com
Get in touch
If you would like to discuss the redevelopment and how you or your organisation can help, please contact the Sarjeant Gallery’s Director Greg Anderson on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (06) 349 3246 or (027) 264 7099.
The Sarjeant Gallery Trust is a registered charity, number CC30610, and monetary donations to the Trust of $5 or more are eligible for a 33% tax credit.
Contact the Sarjeant Gallery
Sarjeant on the Quay
38 Taupō Quay
(06) 349 0506
Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui
PO Box 998