One of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious private art collections, founded as a corporate collection in 1962. Centring on New Zealand painting from the late 18th century to today, the Collection continues to grow.
The Trust’s purchasing policy supports the work of both emerging and well-established New Zealand artists. The Collection is chiefly held within the offices of Fletcher Building in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Specially curated exhibitions of works from the collection regularly tour Aotearoa art institutions.
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It is still reasonably common for corporate or professional offices in New Zealand to display paintings, sculptures or ceramics in their premises. Invariably staff members develop a lively interest in what hangs on their own office walls. By this exposure many are encouraged to think about aesthetic values, to pursue an interest in art and to discover that, far from being an area of mystery, the visual arts have much to contribute to their lives. With these values in mind a collection of New Zealand paintings was initiated in the Fletcher group of companies in 1962.
Francis McWhannell was appointed curator of the Fletcher Trust Collection in 2019, taking over from Peter Shaw, who had held the position since 1991. Francis is responsible for overseeing the maintenance of the Collection, recommending purchases, and organising exhibitions and other special projects, so that the public can enjoy the Collection.
The Fletcher Challenge Ceramics Award 1977–96
The partnership between Auckland Studio Potters and Fletcher Challenge Limited, which resulted in the annual Fletcher Challenge Ceramics Award, celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 1996. At that time it ranked, along with those at Faenza, Italy, and Mino, Japan, as one of the three most prestigious ceramics award exhibitions in the world, and was eagerly supported by ceramists everywhere. Although the Fletcher sponsorship of the award ceased in 1997 the collection of prizewinning pieces assembled during the Award’s twenty-year history is now part of the Fletcher Trust Collection.