Archive Display | The Robertson Gift: Exhibiting Modernism


exhibition Details

American philanthropists Julian (1932–2022) and Josie (1943–2010) Robertson enjoyed a close relationship with Aotearoa New Zealand since their first visit here in 1978–79. Thankful for the strong relationships they built in this country, they announced in 2009 a promised gift of major works of art to Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Working closely with the couple, the Gallery selected 15 artworks by some of the most influential modern European artists from their collection, including significant paintings by Paul Cezanne, Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso. In 2023, the Robertson Gift officially entered the Gallery’s permanent collection and is currently on display in the exhibition The Robertson Gift: Paths through Modernity.

This library display offers an entrée into the rich stories held within the Robertson Gift by focusing on the exhibition histories of three paintings. Exhibition catalogues, installation views and the labels on the back of these works offer glimpses into the artworks’ fascinating lives, including where they have travelled, in which exhibitions they have featured, how curators and critics interpreted them, and how their titles and dates changed over time. We selected these three works because they were some of the Robertsons’ favourites, although when asked about the collection, Julian exclaimed, ‘I have to say I love all my paintings.’

Image credit: Aspects of French Painting: From Cezanne to Picasso. Los Angeles County Museum, 1941. EH McCormick Research Library. Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

Curated by
Kenneth Brummel, Tamsyn Bayliss, Philippa Robinson
Mezzanine Level

Explore Further