In Memory of Marylyn Mayo: Creating a Legacy of Support

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Dr John Mayo is a life benefactor of the Gallery who, together with his late wife Marylyn, has enjoyed a close relationship with the Gallery for over 20 years.

Marylyn was a champion of education, law and the arts: she was an early collector of Colin McCahon, Richard Killeen and other formative New Zealand artists. She enjoyed visiting Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and seeing young creatives develop. Her mother Mavis – an artist in her own right – was mentored by McCahon. Both women felt an affinity with the Gallery.

In 2002, following Marylyn’s death, John Mayo was eager to honour her ‘great interest in the Gallery’. He engaged the then Gallery Director, Chris Saines, asking what was most needed. The Gallery was about to embark on a significant redevelopment programme, and Chris suggested John assist with the creation of the Members Lounge.

‘I was particularly delighted to support the Members Lounge … I’m so pleased to see the way it has developed and the fact that when people in Auckland and elsewhere join the Members association, they have this facility,’ says John.

John's generous funding also encompassed the refresh of the Conservation Research Centre and the establishment of the annual Marylyn Mayo Internship, which he continues to support. The internship programme offers work experience to early-career or recent postgraduate students who intend to pursue a career in art galleries. Of this initiative, John says: ‘The internships have been a brilliant success… I was amazed when I saw the CV of the first intern appointed. I thought, really, there's gallery director material in his own right.’

John certainly didn't miss the mark. The first recipient of the Marylyn Mayo Internship was Greg Anderson, the recently appointed Deputy Director Operations at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. He has come to us after 15 years as Director at Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui.

Quite apart from all this generosity, John has also remembered the Gallery in his will. John says he's delighted to have made a provision for the Gallery in this way. ‘It means a lot to me that Marylyn's memory will be continued … I think it's a very worthwhile thing for people, if they can, to provide support which gives them a personal involvement with the Gallery.’

John’s thoughtful giving is integral to the Gallery's work. If you're interested in supporting the Gallery, please consider making a donation, joining a donor group, or leaving a gift in your will.