The Governor – celebrating the 200th anniversary of Sir George Grey
Sir George Grey had a huge influence over the early years of colonial New Zealand. During his two spells as Governor, 1845-1853 and 1861-1868, he ruled the colony with a mixture of skill and diplomacy but also bouts of dictatorial decree.
This April marks 200 years since his birth in Portugal in 1812. As Governor, Grey left a complex legacy, he waged war, maintained peace, wrote a constitution and established native schools. As a man he was interested in culture and languages, intrigued by science and in retirement introduced monkeys and a zebra to Kawau island.
A lifetime of collecting manuscripts, books, artifacts and paintings became one of his greatest legacies to Auckland. His gift of artworks and books became the founding collections at Auckland Art Gallery and Auckland Library.
Follow the Governor Grey trail...
To celebrate his 200th anniversary Auckland Museum has put together the Governor Grey Trail linking some of his gifts in the Auckland Museum and City Library. Download a trail map and take a tour across Auckland Museum and City Library of some of the objects, books, and manuscripts that belonged to Sir George Grey. Download the trail map here (pdf).
Auckland Art Gallery
Auckland Museum is also home to many objects that came from Sir George, much of them on long term loan from Auckland Art Gallery.
Auckland Art Gallery opened in 1888 with a display of European and local paintings gifted by Sir George Grey. Visit the Art Gallery website to learn more.
Sir George Grey’s 1887 gift to the people of Auckland became the foundation of Auckland Library. Visit the library website to learn more about his collection, life and legacy.