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The biennial Walters Prize profiles outstanding examples of contemporary New Zealand art. Named in honour of pioneering modernist painter Gordon Walters (1919–1995), the Prize aims to make contemporary art more widely recognised and debated.

Over a two-year period, an independent jury of curators and artists researches national and international exhibitions to nominate four finalists whose work is recreated for display at the Gallery. A key feature of the Walters Prize is that it brings to Auckland a distinguished judge with an international perspective. The judges so far have been: Harald Szeemann (2002), Robert Storr (2004), Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (2006), Catherine David (2008), Vicente Todolí (2010), Mami Kataoka (2012) and Charles Esche (2014).

The Walters Prize was established in 2002 by founding benefactors and principal donors Erika & Robin Congreve and Dame Jenny Gibbs, together with Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. From 2004 Dayle, Lady Mace became a major donor, providing an award to each of the finalists. Founding sponsors were EY, who dedicated their support until 2010 and Saatchi & Saatchi, whose relationship with the Prize continued until the end of the 2014 iteration. In 2014 the Auckland Contemporary Arts Trust provided support as a principal donor and Elevation Capital joined as a major sponsor. More recently, Christopher and Charlotte Swasbrook have moved to support the prize as major donors.

Related exhibitions

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The Walters Prize 2016
The Walters Prize 2016

Free entry

The Walters Prize 2016

Free entry

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The Walters Prize 2014
The Walters Prize 2014

Free entry

The Walters Prize 2014

Free entry

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The Walters Prize 2012
The Walters Prize 2012

Free entry

The Walters Prize 2012

Free entry

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The Walters Prize 2010
The Walters Prize 2010

Free entry

The Walters Prize 2010

Free entry

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The Walters Prize 2008
The Walters Prize 2008

Free entry

The Walters Prize 2008

Free entry

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The Walters Prize 2006
The Walters Prize 2006

Free entry

The Walters Prize 2006

Free entry

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The Walters Prize 2004
The Walters Prize 2004

$7 - $5

The Walters Prize 2004

$7 - $5

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The Walters Prize 2002
The Walters Prize 2002

Free entry

The Walters Prize 2002

Free entry