About us

The Govett-Brewster is a contemporary art museum of the Pacific, located in Ngāmotu New Plymouth, Taranaki, with an international reputation and reach.

Founded on the vision of New Plymouth-born Monica Brewster and her aspirations for a contemporary art museum for her city, the Gallery works with artists and ideas to engage people and build communities through contemporary art.

The Gallery continues to build on its 50-year legacy of presenting meaningful cutting-edge art, from local, national and international contemporary artists, that explores and celebrates who we are – our people, our place, our communities, our cultures, our histories and our understanding of the world.

Transforming the city’s decommissioned heritage cinema, the original museum opened in 1970 with a ground-breaking exhibition and multi-sensory installation. Since that time we continue to present a lively programme where people connect with art and artists through tours, talks, workshops, films, performances, music and education programs, and grow the permanent collection of paintings, video, installation and photography.

 

The Regent Theatre in New Plymouth before it was transformed into the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in 1970

The Regent Theatre in New Plymouth before it was transformed into the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in 1970

In 1977 we presented Kinetic Works, the first survey of Aotearoa artist Len Lye's work anywhere in the world. Just months before his death in 1980, Lye established the Len Lye Foundation to continue his artistic vision and, recognising the strength of the relationship between artist and museum, he chose the Govett-Brewster to be the home of Len Lye.

In 2015 we opened as the combined Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre with a renewed vision and vigour to promote and foster contemporary art and the conversations it encourages including the work and vision of Len Lye.

We continue to build on this history in a manner that honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles of partnership, participation and protection by recognising tangata whenua and respecting tikanga and taonga, and aims to engage our diverse local, national and international audiences.