Since 2012 the Sarjeant Gallery curators have written a fortnightly feature in the Wanganui Chronicle. Published in the Saturday arts section, each of these articles has focused on one item selected from the over 5500 works in the Gallery’s Collection. This exhibition brings together eight of the artworks that have featured in these articles, along with the features themselves. Covering two centuries of local, national and international art these works, and their articles, highlight the breadth and beauty of the Collection. The issues covered in these features have spanned – forgotten artists, Royal photographers, local female artists, British genre painting, the complexities of portraiture, the rise of abstraction, authenticity, symbolism and nostalgia.
The works are also indicative of the many strengths of the Collection. When Henry Sarjeant bequeathed funds to the city for the establishment of an art gallery he stated that “It is my desire that works of art shall be purchased or acquired on account of their intrinsic value as work of high art only and not because they are specimens of local or colonial art so that the said gallery shall be furnished with works of the highest art in all branches as a means of inspiration for ourselves and those who come after us.”