Art Collection Management Plan

In early December 1965, University funds were allotted for the purchase of artworks within the 1966 academic year. The collection was inaugurated by the acquisition of a painting and two drawings by Colin McCahon. Since then the collection has acquired some major works by significant New Zealand artists, including Gretchen Albrecht, Don Binney, Neil Dawson, Pat Hanly, Frances Hodgkins, Paul Hartigan, Ralph Hotere, Colin McCahon, Milan Mrkusich, Gordon Walters, John Weeks, Robin White and Toss Woollaston. Almost fifty years later, with the amalgamation of the College of Education collection, there are now around 1700 works in the collection comprising of paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures and video on permanent display throughout our various University campuses. View the University Art Collection.

The Art Collection Management Plan provides a framework for the management of the University Art Collection.The University Librarian and Director Libraries and Learning Services has ultimate responsibility for stewardship of the University Art Collection and chairs the Art Acquisition Committee, which provides governance for the art collection, encompassing: its direction and growth, managing the selection of new works and approving recommendations for deaccession and disposal.

Collection Scope

The main objectives of the Art Collection are to:

  • Develop a collection which would foster research, learning and teaching on the visual arts within the University.
  • Develop a collection that strongly represents New Zealand’s Māori and Pacific, heritage and context and strengthens the University’s relationship with mana whenua.
  • Enhance the University’s physical and cultural environment through the display of art works and their incorporation into the university’s physical spaces.

The collecting categories are:

  • Art of the University of Auckland
  • Art of the Auckland region
  • Historical New Zealand Art
  • Contemporary New Zealand Art


University staff members may make recommendations of purchase to the Art Acquisitions Committee for consideration. Faculties, schools and departments may also purchase works of art from their respective budgets, following consultation with the Art Acquisition Committee. Recommendations and purchases must be in line with this Management Plan and the Art Collection Guidelines. Recommend an acquisition by completing this art recommendation form.

The University may also acquire art by commission following consultation with the Art Acquisition Committee. These commissions must comply with the collecting priorities and categories. Funding may be from sources other than the art acquisition budget. Commissions will be managed by the Art Collection staff and Property Services.

Art, meeting the collecting priorities and categories, may also be acquired by donation or bequest. Donations will be assessed against collecting objectives and categories and any conditions set by potential donors prior to acceptance for the art collection. The University reserves the right to decline donations. Donors considering making a donation or bequest are advised to discuss their intentions with the University to ensure their intended gift meets the collection priorities and categories.

The University will ensure the copyright, moral, intellectual and cultural property rights of the artists are respected and upheld in the documentation, display and reproduction of all art in the collection. Copyright, moral, intellectual and cultural property rights will be taken in to account when commissioning works and completing donation agreements. Further information on the University Art Collection acquisition process is available in the University Art Collection Operational Guidelines.


Te Tumu Herenga | Libraries and Learning Services manages the annual budget for the acquisition, maintenance and upkeep of the University Art Collection. All art over a certain value, donated or purchased for the University’s collection, must be recorded in the PeopleSoft Fixed Asset Register, in accordance with the University’s Fixed Asset Policy.


Internal loans of University art are managed by the Art Collection Staff. Requests will be evaluated against the collecting objectives and can made through this loan request form

Loan requests from New Zealand-based organisations such as accredited institutions, museums or professional galleries shall be reviewed the University Librarian and Director Libraries and Learning Services.

Information on the terms of the loan, loan period and responsibility for insurance and other associated costs is available in the University Art Collection Operational Guidelines.

Reproduction of artwork

We may reproduce images of artworks in the collection for various purposes, including (but not limited to):

  • Representation of works on the Art Collection website
  • Art Collection promotional and outreach initiatives via University websites, booklets, postcards etc.
  • Use in University research, learning and teaching activities
  • Supply to external parties working within a specific professional framework (e.g. gallery and museum curators; art historians and researchers; authors, editors and publishers) for use in exhibition catalogues and promotion, research, books etc

Any reproduction (or use of such) is governed by agreements with the rights holders. When purchasing or accessioning works into the collection we negotiate rights to reproduce the work for the above purposes using The University of Auckland Artwork Copyright Agreement.

For reproductions of works currently in the collection that have no current reuse rights agreement we do our best to attempt to contact the copyright holder and negotiate rights before providing these for use.

Care and maintenance

The Art Collection Assistants are responsible for the ongoing care and maintenance of the collection. They maintain a database of all the art that makes up the University Art Collection including a record of where each art work is located. Further information on the care and maintenance of the University Art Collection is available in the University Art Collection Operational Guidelines.

Deaccession and disposal

Following a regular review of the Art Collection Guidelines and the Art Collection Management Plan, works in the art collection may be re-evaluated and recommended for deaccessioning. It will only be considered in order to strengthen the quality of the collection and advance its objectives. There will be a strong professional caution against the disposal of works of art from the collection, and deaccessioning will only be undertaken with great care. The Art Acquisitions Committee shall review all art recommended for deaccessioning and grant approval as appropriate.

Information on the criteria and procedure for deaccession and disposal is available in the University Art Collection Operational Guidelines.


Reviewed February 2020