Rutherford Trust landmark exhibition

Colin McCahon_Necessary Protection Muriwai (blue and brown)
Doris Lusk Benmore I
Tony Fomison Holy Families
Don Binney Kereru over rich suburb, Dunedin
Michael Illingworth A man and a woman


The Rutherford Trustees and the Trustees of the James Wallace Arts Trust are pleased to announce an exhibition of important artworks selected from The Rutherford Trust Collection.

The Rutherford Trust was established in 1988 as part of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand’s commitment to “encourage and enhance New Zealand’s cultural life and heritage”. Part of this mission was achieved by building up a collection of artworks over a number of years with the aim of reflecting the development of 20th century New Zealand art and making this collection available to the New Zealand public.

A significant range of work from leading artists is included in the Exhibition in order to promote a broader awareness of the Rutherford Trust Collection and its place in our recent cultural and corporate history.

Further information: 

About TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre

Over 300,000 visitors to the exhibitions at the Wallace Arts Centre since it opened its doors in mid-August 2010 have enjoyed the combination of the stunning restored Victorian architecture of the Pah Homestead set in a beautiful Park, engaging and at times challenging contemporary New Zealand Art, and a fine café experience.

The Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Art Centre’s opening hours are

  • Tuesday - Friday 10am till 3pm,
  • Saturday - Sunday 10am till 5pm.

Entry is by donation.

About The Rutherford Trust

The Rutherford Trust was established in 1988 as part of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand’s (ECNZ) commitment to “encourage and enhance New Zealand’s cultural life and heritage” and to form a collection that reflected the development of 20 Century New Zealand art, where excellence of achievement, rather than fashion, was the key criterion. The Trust was named after the Wellington building that housed the operations of ECNZ for many years, ‘Rutherford House’.

Since its founding the Trust has assembled a rich and diverse Collection of 140 works of mainly contemporary New Zealand art. The earliest work in the Collection is a Maud Sherwood watercolour dating from 1905; there are examples of works from the 1930s and ‘40s but the main emphasis is on the 1980s and ‘90s. The Trust also gradually acquired examples of work from the country’s finest abstractionists to complement the Collection’s realist art.

Up until 2000 under the sponsorship of ECNZ, the Trust’s Collection was exhibited in a number of galleries around New Zealand, including the Manawatu Art Gallery, Palmerston North; the Aigantighe Gallery, Timaru; the Hawke’s Bay Exhibition Centre, Hastings; the City Gallery, Wellington; and Te Papa, Wellington. In addition the Trust provided resources for schools such as a slide kit project in conjunction with the City Gallery, Wellington, in 1999 and an earlier kit produced jointly with the Correspondence School. The Trust also made it possible for special interest groups to view the Collection within the environs of ECNZ’s Head Office, Rutherford House, where a large proportion of the collection was housed at that time.

Until the breakup of ECNZ by the Government in 1999, The Rutherford Trust was an active collection and new purchases were carefully planned each year. The last additions to the Collection at that time were Hastings Table and Rack by Bill Culbert (following the Trust’s joint sponsorship of the successful Bill Culbert 1997 “LightWorks” exhibition at the City Gallery), Séraphine Pick’s Lemon Stack, a large canvas work Untitled and a smaller Untitled Construction work, both by Don Peebles, and two works from Julia Morison’s Amalgame series of 1991 and 1993.

In 2004 New Zealand Post became the Trust’s principal sponsor, thereby enabling the Trust to continue its operations and making its Collection available to the public through exhibition loans to galleries around New Zealand. This sponsorship continued for five years.

Following a successful exhibition in 2003 of 31 works from The Rutherford Trust Collection at Aratoi – Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, Masterton, the Trust commenced negotiations with Aratoi for the Museum to jointly exhibit, curate and administer the Collection. An agreement between the two parties was completed in September 2005 and the Trust entered into a new and exciting period of operation with the support of New Zealand Post and Aratoi to fulfil its Deed obligations to bring this important Collection to the people of New Zealand.

Since then a joint venture exhibition by the Hawke’s Bay Exhibition Centre and Aratoi of 43 works entitled Solid Gold – Classic Hits from The Rutherford Trust Collection (curated by Damian Skinner) has been exhibited by the Hawke’s Bay Exhibition Centre (2006) and Aratoi (2007) and has toured to other centres (Hamilton, Upper Hutt and Palmerston North) in 2008. In 2007 two new artworks enhanced the Collection: Now Showing by Gary Waldrom and Supposition: Part A, Part B by Elizabeth Thomson. Aratoi has continued to store and exhibit the Collection.

Contact details: 
For more information please visit For media enquiries please email: phone: 09 639 2010 extension 5.

Written by

Wallace Arts Trust

4 Apr 2013

Located in the historic Pah Homestead in Monte Cecilia Park, Hillsborough, the TSB Wallace Arts Centre opened to the public in August 2010.