The Mackelvie Collection

Auckland Museum holds New Zealand's premier collection of international and New Zealand decorative arts. Elements of the Mackelvie Collections are on permanent display and includes an extraordinary diversity of furniture, books, paintings, miniatures, textiles, ceramics, mosaics, enamels, glassware and clocks bequeathed to Auckland during the late 19th century.


James Tannock Mackelvie was a Glaswegian Scot who lived and worked in Auckland from 1865 to 1871. He made a fortune in land speculation and gold mining investments before returning to London, and was perhaps, Auckland's single biggest arts benefactor.

Mackelvie was a prodigious collector and from the beginning, intended his acquisitions to one day form a teaching collection in New Zealand. Auckland Museum holds all of the applied arts that Mackelvie donated to Auckland, both while he was alive and on his death. Paintings and sculptures are held in the Auckland Art Gallery and books are held in the Auckland Library.

Almost the entire collection of applied arts from the Mackelvie Collection are displayed together in the Decorative Arts Gallery - just as the collector and benefactor intended.

Auckland Museum acknowledges the ongoing loan of these items from the Mackelvie Trust Board, Auckland.

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