A Victorian collector

Join our speakers Mary Kisler MNZM, Grace Lai and Dr Sophie Matthiesson as they share their thoughts and insights on James Tannock Mackelvie and his collection. The introductory talks are followed by a panel discussion chaired by Finn McCahon-Jones.

TUES 7 MAY, 6PM
TE MATA TAIRONGO MUSEUM AUDITORIUM, LEVEL 2

PAY WHAT YOU CAN

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 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 Toi o Tāmaki and books are held in the Auckland Library Ngā Pātaka Kōrero o Tāmaki Makaurau.

Join our speakers Mary Kisler MNZM, Grace Lai and Dr Sophie Matthiesson as they share their thoughts and insights on James Tannock Mackelvie and his collection. The introductory talks are followed by a panel discussion chaired by Finn McCahon-Jones and there is time for questions at the end.

The event is presented in partnership with Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and open to members of Auckland Art Gallery and the Mackelvie Society.   

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Emerita Curator

Mary Kisler MNZM

Art historian, curator, writer, and now Emerita Curator Mary Kisler MNZM has an MA in Italian and Art History. The latter was completed thanks to an Italian Government scholarship that allowed her to study in Florence for 7 months in 1992. She commenced a Ph.D. but after three years left the university, working for 21 years at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, latterly as Senior Curator, Mackelvie Collection, International Art. In 2016, Mary was Craig Hugh Smyth Fellow at the Harvard Centre for Renaissance Art, Villa I Tatti, Florence, researching Italian works in New Zealand Public Collections. From 2014 to 2019 Mary worked on the Frances Hodgkins Project at Auckland Art Gallery, producing an exhibition, subsidiary book and co-producing the exhibition catalogue and the Frances Hodgkins online catalogue raisonné. Mary is currently working on two other book projects.

Mary’s introductory talk will focus on James Mackelvie - A Life Well Lived.

Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum

Curator of Applied Arts & Design

Grace Lai

Guided by curiosity, Grace Lai is an art historian and curator interested in uncovering stories held by objects overlooked or dismissed by history. Positioning material culture as a decoder of the immaterial, her research seeks to untangle the complex web of connections, histories, and social structures inherited by objects in the hopes of addressing issues that remain relevant not only to museums and their collections but also to society today. Grace has published extensively on contemporary craft, focusing on studio glass, jewellery, textiles, and surface design.

Currently, Grace is the Curator of Applied Arts & Design at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum where she leads the exhibition, development, and research of a nationally significant archive of craft from Aotearoa New Zealand and abroad.

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Senior Curator International Art

Dr Sophie Matthiesson

Senior Curator of International Art, Dr Sophie Matthiesson has more than 20 years’ experience as a curator and educator in England and Australia including Curator of International Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2007-2019). In her role at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Sophie develops and manages the Gallery’s historical and modern international collection, including the Mackelvie collection.

Sophie’s past curatorial projects include Modern Britain (2007), Salvador Dalí (2009), Monet’s Garden (2013), Degas: A New Vision (2016) and Van Gogh: The Seasons (2017).

Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum

Senior Collection Manager Documentary Heritage

Finn McCahon-Jones

Finn McCahon-Jones is the Senior Collection Manager of the Documentary Heritage collections at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum. He previously held the roles of Associate Curator Applied Art & Design and Exhibition Curator. Finn was the Curator / Director at Te Toi Uku Crown Lynn & Clayworks Museum in Auckland. He has a fine arts degree majoring in sculpture from AUT; and recently completed his BA (Hons) in Art History at The University of Auckland Waipapa Taumata Rau.

Finn is a trustee on the Mackelvie Trust and the Colin McCahon Research and Publication Trust. He is actively involved in the art and craft sectors as a writer and exhibitor. Finn is an alumni of the prestigious Clark Collection / Creative New Zealand Attingham Summer School scholarship and in 2020 was the Auckland Library Heritage Trust scholar.

Ticket Price: Pay What you Can

Ticket Price: Pay What you Can

For this event we’re inviting you to set the price for your ticket yourself and pay what you can to participate. You can enter any amount and select the number of tickets. Each ticket will be charged at the selected amount. We appreciate any contribution you can make.

Thank you for your continued support and being a Museum Member. Any contribution in addition to your membership fee will enable the development and preservation of collections, the delivery of new exhibitions, important research, and exciting educational programmes. It will also ensure the continued restoration of the historic Museum building, a touchstone for remembrance and home to sacred taonga.

Thank you for your support.

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Header image credit: Cup and Saucer, England, 19th Century. Mackelvie Collection on loan to Auckland Museum 1932.233, 10374

Second image ccredit: Wine pot, 1932.233, M780, 17824, 448. Mackelvie Trust Collection © Auckland Museum CC BY