William McAloon, one of New Zealand’s greatest art writers, curators and art historians has passed away. McAloon was the Curator of Historical New Zealand Art at Te Papa and the author of a number of seminal texts, including Art at Te Papa (2009). Tributes from Over the Net, Cheryl Bernstein and Te Papa are online here, here and here.
Te Papa’s new chairman Sir Wira Gardiner has thrown his weight behind a proposal to build a 100 million dollar gallery to house Te Papa’s extensive (and barely seen) art collection. Given that the bulk of funding would need to be provided by private donors, some are skeptical as to whether the project will get off the ground. Wellington-based curator Luit Bieringa stated that “It’s been mooted too often for me to take it seriously any more.” However, with heavyweights Sir Wira and new Te Papa chief executive Mike Houlihan supporting Te Papa board member Chris Parkin’s aim to “leave Wellington with a new national art gallery”, let’s hope they can deliver.
You can read more about the proposal here.
Michael Houlihan has been appointed chief executive of ‘Our Place’ – Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington. Houlihan is currently the head of Amgueddfa Cymru, a seven-museum group in Wales, and was previously chief executive of Northern Ireland’s amalgamated national museums and galleries
Houlihan will replace former director Seddon Bennington, who died while tramping in the Tararua Ranges last year.