Trust Waikato has launched a new book, Treasures of the Waikato, which showcases the Trust Waikato Art and Taonga Collection. The book is available online as an ebook, and will also be distributed to key libraries in the region.
“The Trust is extremely proud to share this book which showcases the rare and beautiful artwork of the region”, says Trust Waikato Chief Executive, Dennis Turton. “It records and displays the efforts of hundreds of artists, from photography of significant events, to paintings by renowned artists, and historical taonga from our past.”
The collection began in 1999 to ensure that art and taonga of signiﬁcance to the Waikato remain in the region. Valued at $1.92 million, and comprising over 260 pieces, the collection is a tribute to the talent of many local artists.
In 1999, the Trust became aware that pieces of art and artefacts – taonga significant to our region – tended to be held in public and private collections outside of the region. To ensure that artworks of importance remained in the Waikato, the Trust began purchasing, out of its operational funding, artworks and taonga.
Dr Ann McEwan, the Trust’s art adviser and the book’s author, says that “the art and taonga of the Waikato have often been overlooked in national histories of art and visual culture. This book celebrates the treasures of the region and curates the collection in to a number of themes that showcase the beauty, history, and mana of the Waikato.”
In September 2015, following a review by the Trust Waikato Board the Trust gifted the Trust Waikato Art and Taonga Collection to the Waikato Museum, via Hamilton City Council, the owner of the museum. Trust Waikato recognises the role of kaitiakitanga that Waikato Museum has in looking after taonga from the region, and is grateful that the collection is properly conserved in museum conditions.
Through exhibitions and growing the collection, Waikato Museum can keep this important collection alive and is able to share these treasures and history with the wider community.
“Waikato Museum and Trust Waikato both hold dear the value of preserving our region’s artistic vibrancy and cultural heritage for future generations,” says Waikato Museum Director, Cherie Meecham. “It is our privilege to be kaitiaki of these precious artworks and taonga, and connect them with the public whose history and lives they reflect.”
For further information contact:
Trust Waikato Chief Executive
P: 027 482 1206