Opening on Friday 15 April – Good Friday in the Catholic liturgical calendar – Heavenly Beings: Icons of the Christian Orthodox World introduces the tradition of the devotional art of the Christian Orthodox faith in an exhibition of icons drawn from across the world.
This ancient visual tradition is surveyed through 118 captivating icons, dating from 1350 to 1800. After the fall of Byzantium in 1453, the icon tradition associated with Constantinople, the seat of Eastern Christianity, continued and flourished across the Orthodox world.
The exhibition brings together masters, such as the Cretans, Angelos Akotantos, Andreas Pavias, Nikolaos Tzafouris and Constantine Tzanes, whose holy subjects vibrate with life against shimmering gold leaf backgrounds. Visitors will be invited to discover the great guardian saints who gave hope to ordinary people throughout the ages: Saints Nicholas, George, Elijah, Paraskeva and many more, beloved as healers, warriors, consolers and miracle workers.
Heavenly Beings: Icons reveals the beauty and power of icons, both for general audiences today and for people across centuries throughout the far-flung regions of the Eastern Orthodox community. It explores their dynamic role in the lives of pilgrims, priests and everyday believers of the early modern world. For followers, then and today, such images of holy figures, painted on gilded wooden panels according to age-old methods, serve as ‘windows into heaven’ during the act of prayer.
The most ambitious exhibition of icons to be staged in Australasia, Heavenly Beings: Icons unites exceptional examples from private and public collections across Aotearoa and Australia. In doing so, it lifts the veil on a profound and rich tradition that is alive and well in Tāmaki Makaurau and throughout our vibrant nation.
Image credit: Saint George and the Dragon, Crete circa 1500 Egg tempera, gold leaf and gesso on wood Private collection, Canberra
Members FREE – Become a Member
Seniors and Community Card holders $19.50
Student [with Student ID] $19.50
Children 12 and under FREE + a free Gallery Self-Guide activity booklet available online here and at the front desk
(All children 14 and under must be accompanied by an adult)
How to book:
On the day – You can buy tickets on any day of the exhibition (Friday 15 April – Sunday 18 September) from the Gallery's information desk on our Ground level. Please note that due to limited exhibition capacity, you will be booked into hourly sessions throughout the day. These tickets are available until exhibition capacities are reached. For priority exhibition entry for a particular time and date, please buy your ticket in advance via Eventfinda.
In advance – We're also partnering with Eventfinda to offer online advance ticket sales for Heavenly Beings: Icons of the Christian Orthodox World. Advanced ticket sales are available now via Eventfinda. Heavenly Beings: Icons of the Christian Orthodox World is open till Sunday 18 September 2022 and tickets may still be available from our information desk to purchase on the day. For updates on ticket availability, please call 09 379 1349.
Prices include GST. Booking and delivery fees, where charged, are additional to the admission price. There is no entry charge for children aged 12 or under.
Auckland Art Gallery Members go FREE:
Present your membership card at the information desk on the day of your visit and you will be issued with a ticket to the exhibition.
Members with guest passes may also bring their guests for FREE.
Become a Member on the day of your visit to Heavenly Beings: Icons of the Christian Orthodox World to receive a refund of the price of your exhibition ticket.
Free - bookings essential Book now
Various dates, 1.45 — 2.30pm
Adult $24.50, Concession $19.50, Members free Book now
Please book at least two weeks in advance of your visit to secure entry to this exhibition. Advance booking is essential to guarantee entry. To make a group booking, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discounted entry is only available for groups who book in advance:
Seniors and Community Services Card Holders: $18
Unbooked groups are charged standard admission prices.
Primary, Secondary, Tertiary group bookings
Please book at least two weeks in advance of your visit to secure entry to this exhibition. Advance booking is essential to guarantee entry and very large groups may need to be admitted into the exhibition in smaller groups. We reserve the right to add extra staff to supervise large groups. To make a group booking, please email email@example.com
Discounted entry is only available for groups who book in advance:
Primary school group students: No charge
Secondary school group students: $10
Tertiary group students: $10
Separate charges may apply for accompanying teachers and adults.
Teacher/adult-to-student ratios apply:
Years 1-4 / Ages 5-9 – 1:6
Years 5-7 / Ages 10-11 – 1:7
Years 7-10 / Ages 12-15 – 1:10
Years 11-13 / Ages 16-18 – 1:30
For visiting tamariki, there is a free Self-Guiding resource available online here and at the front desk.
Saint John the Hermit, post 17th century,
egg tempera, gold leaf and gesso on wood
310 x 245 mm
on loan from a private collection, Canberra
Heavenly Beings is on show at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki from Friday 15 April 2022 – Sunday 18 September 2022. The exhibition is open during normal Gallery hours, 10am–5pm daily.
Heavenly Beings is located on Level 1.
We're partnering with Eventfinda to offer advance ticket sales for Heavenly Beings. Advance tickets give priority entry for your selected session and are available for sessions starting hourly throughout each day. Please ensure you arrive no later than 20 minutes after your session start time.
On the day:
You can also buy tickets on the day of your visit from the Gallery's information desk on Ground level. These tickets are available until exhibition capacities are reached. For priority exhibition entry for a particular time and date, please buy your ticket in advance via Eventfinda.
Yes. Children aged 12 and under are FREE. Please note that children aged under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
Tickets allow single entry to the exhibition. However, you are welcome to spend as long in the exhibition as you need. If you are purchasing a ticket for our 4pm sessions, please note that the Gallery closes at 5pm daily.
Yes, if you are a Gallery Member, entry to Heavenly Beings is FREE. Entry is also FREE to any guests you bring with you using your Members Guest pass.
For priority exhibition entry for a particular time and date, please secure your FREE Member / Members Guests tickets in advance via Eventfinda. You may also secure your FREE ticket from our information desk on the day of your visit, exhibition capacity allowing.
Gallery Members receive FREE unlimited entry to Heavenly Beings. Follow the link below to become a member.
You can buy tickets up to two months in advance of your visit via Eventfinda. Eventfinda tickets are released monthly throughout the exhibition’s season.
Month of visit:
Ticket release date:
Friday 29 April
Friday 27 May
Friday 1 July
Friday 29 July
Unless sold out prior, you can buy tickets via Eventfinda up to 12 hours in advance of each session’s start time. Advance tickets give priority entry for your selected session and are available for sessions starting hourly throughout each day.
Where capacity allows, tickets may also be purchased from our information desk on Ground level on the day of your visit.
Your ticket price contributes to the costs involved in mounting an exhibition of this scale and calibre and of bringing international objects on loan to New Zealand.
We recommend allowing 60 minutes to view Heavenly Beings. The last session time begins at 4pm daily with the Gallery closing at 5pm.
Yes, photography without flash for personal use is permitted. Where there are exclusions, 'no photography' signage will be on display. View the Gallery's full photography policy.
Yes! We encourage and welcome families with children of all ages to visit Heavenly Beings – look out for special exhibition-related activities and events designed with families in mind. Children aged 12 and under go FREE.
For priority exhibition entry for a particular time and date, please secure your FREE Child tickets in advance via Eventfinda. You may also secure your FREE Child ticket from our information desk on the day of your visit, exhibition capacity allowing.
After viewing the exhibition, extend your visit with a trip to Todd Foundation Creative Learning Centre.
Please note we don't allow food or drink in the exhibition and ask that you don't touch the artworks.
We recommend Auckland Transport's Victoria Street carpark which is located a few hundred metres up the road from the Gallery.
Yes. Bookings for groups (including adult education groups) of 10 or more people should be made by emailing us with the details of your group, group size, and preferred date(s) and time(s) of visit.
Booked groups will be prioritised.