Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is the city’s principal public gallery, containing the most extensive collection of national and international art in New Zealand. It was opened in 1888 with Sir George Grey’s gift of books making up the core of the collection. Since then some 17,000 works of art have been collected, focusing principally on English and European art. There are also important representations of New Zealand art and outstanding works by Maori and Pacific Island artists.
The building is a fine example of the French Renaissance style, designed by the Melbourne architects, Grainger & D’Ebro. An early benefactor was James Tannock Mackelvie (1824-85), a New Zealand philanthropist who had amassed a fine collection of art from Europe. In 2009 it was announced that the American investor, Julian Robertson was to donate works of art worth $115 million.
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