Preserving a legacy: an analysis of the role and function of the Mackelvie Trust Board, 1885−2010
Author: Andrew McKay (University of Auckland)
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Established to manage the art collections of one of Auckland city’s former businessmen, the Mackelvie Trust Board has operated for over 125 years. The Trust was set up to administer James Tannock Mackelvie’s(1824−85) collection of European paintings, books, decorative arts and objets de vertu including bronzes, clocks, coins and natural treasures now held at the Auckland Art Gallery, the Auckland War Memorial Museum and the Auckland Public Library.
This article will explain how part of the collection came to be at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, how the Trustees administered the will, and how the Trust Board itself evolved to include professional expertise. The impact of this evolution on Mackelvie’s gifts and bequest and the collection’s development
is one of the most important findings.
After an evaluation of the collection’s management over time, it is concluded that while the Mackelvie Trust Board has always endeavoured to implement Mackelvie’s wishes, financial and physical restrictions led to certain compromises regarding control and display of the collection. Nevertheless, the Trustees have always acted in good faith and protected Mackelvie’s legacy for the enjoyment of future generations of Aucklanders and visitors to the city.
McKay, A. 2018. Preserving a legacy: an analysis of the role and function of the Mackelvie Trust Board, 1885−2010. Records of the Auckland Museum 53: 17-25.
Published online: January 18, 2019