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New Director for the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery

New Plymouth District Council has appointed Dr Zara Stanhope as new director of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre.


Dr Zara Stanhope has been announced by New Plymouth District Council as the next director of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre.

Currently the curatorial manager of Asian and Pacific Art at Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Dr Stanhope will bring nearly 30 years’ experience as a curator and director in both Australia and New Zealand to the role.

Dr Stanhope is looking forward to joining the Gallery and playing a part in its growth.

“It is a real privilege to be joining the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre at this significant point in its unique history.”

“I am looking forward to working with the highly motivated Gallery team, the Len Lye Foundation and Te Kaunihera-ā-Rohe o Ngāmotu New Plymouth District Council to strengthen the institution’s position as a leading centre for contemporary art in the Pacific, prioritise diverse local communities and artists, and expand national and international audiences.”

Dr Stanhope joins the Govett-Brewster team from 1 March 2021.

About Dr Zara Stanhope:

- Dr Stanhope is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Art and Design at AUT University, Auckland

- She holds a PhD from the School of Arts and Social Sciences at the Australian National University, Canberra.

- She’s worked in lead roles at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Heide Museum of Modern Art and the Monash University Museum of Art (Melbourne) and the Adam Art Gallery (Wellington).


Further information: 

About Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre
The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is New Zealand’s contemporary art museum in the coastal city of New Plymouth, Taranaki on the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. Since opening in 1970, the Gallery has dedicated itself to innovative programming, focused collection development and audience engagement. It has earned a strong reputation nationally and internationally for its global vision and special commitment to contemporary art of the Pacific Rim. The Govett-Brewster is also home to the collection and archive of the seminal modernist filmmaker and kinetic sculptor Len Lye (1901–1980).

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery was founded with a gift to the city of New Plymouth, from one of its greatest ‘Friends’ Monica Brewster (née Govett). A globetrotter before the age of air travel, Monica Brewster envisaged an art museum for her hometown that would be an international beacon for the art and ideas of the current day – the sort she had become familiar with on her global travels.

The Govett-Brewster continues in the legacy of Monica Brewster by taking on and presenting provocative, audacious and confident works of art in the global arts landscape.

The greatly expanded museum re-launched on 25 July 2015 with the addition of the Len Lye Centre. With its curved exterior walls of mirror-like stainless steel, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre is the country’s first example of destination architecture linked to contemporary art.

This latest addition to the Govett-Brewster – the Len Lye Centre – is New Zealand’s first institution dedicated to a single artist, the pioneering filmmaker and kinetic sculptor, Len Lye. It is the international centre for exploration of his work. The centre researches, collects, stores, conserves, exhibits and publishes on the life and creations of New Zealand’s most internationally acclaimed artist.

In 1964 Len Lye said “Great architecture goes fifty-fifty with great art”.

The Len Lye Centre building, adjoining the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, is an example of innovative thinking in both engineering and architecture. The architects are Patterson Associates, one of New Zealand’s most internationally recognised architectural firms.

The Len Lye Centre presents changing exhibitions of Lye’s work in kinetic sculpture, film, painting, drawing, photography, batik and writing, as well as related work by contemporary and historical artists.

It also houses a state-of-the-art 60-seat cinema and presents Lye’s films to their best advantage, films that are landmark works that pioneer innovation in film, media and art. Visitors can also experience a selection of international film festivals, experimental, arthouse and cult movies, as well as a programme of New Zealand cinema, symposia and lectures.

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre is owned and operated by the New Plymouth District Council, which governs the museum under the terms of the founding Monica Brewster Trust Deed, in association with the Len Lye Foundation.

Contact details: 

06-759 6172, (0275 300233) or

Written by

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery

8 Dec 2020

Interests The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is New Zealand's premier contemporary art museum and home to the collection of modernist filmmaker and kinetic sculptor Len Lye. Admission is free.