Exhibition Art Gallery (Former)

40 Logan Park Drive, DUNEDIN

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This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is the original citation considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration. Information in square brackets indicate modifications made after the paper was considered by the NZHPT Board. The Exhibition Art Gallery was built as the art gallery for the 1925 New Zealand and South Seas International Exhibition in Dunedin. The World Fairs and Exhibitions were among the largest gatherings of people of all time, and they ranked amongst the most important events held in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Most exhibition buildings and sites were designed to be temporary, and there are, therefore, relatively few structures remaining. The Gallery appears to be the only surviving in situ exhibition building from any of the exhibitions held in New Zealand, and is also a significant survivor in the international history of exhibitions. This gives the Gallery outstanding historical significance. The Gallery was designed by prominent Dunedin architect Edmund Anscombe (1874-1948). Anscombe was the originator of the idea to hold the exhibition in Dunedin, and was appointed official architect to the Exhibition committee in June 1924. Anscombe designed and supervised the lay out and construction of all seven of the exhibition pavilions. The building was symmetrically laid out with a large central exhibition hall from which two ambulatory circuits via the ten smaller galleries on either side of it were accessed. Each gallery was linked to its neighbour via decorative plaster archways. Natural lighting to the galleries was through skylights, which directed light down onto reflective baffles mounted under them, which spilled light down the walls, leaving the centres of the galleries in comparative darkness. At the time of its opening the design of the building received high praise from the then President of the New Zealand Institute of Architects Samuel Hurst Seager, and a specialist on gallery lighting. Upon the closure of the exhibition the securing of the Art Gallery building by the Dunedin Art Gallery Society and the Dunedin City Council for the housing of the civic art collection was assisted by a significant donation by Percy and Lucy Sargood (later Sir and Lady Sargood). In making this gift the Sargoods' intention was that the Gallery be the focus of a major public recreation area, and also a memorial to their only son Cedric, who was killed at Gallipoli. The Sargoods continued to be important benefactors to the Gallery, funding the construction of the 1951 Sargood Wing. The Dunedin Public Art Gallery occupied the building until 1997. Since then there have been a number of tenants, and [from] 2005 the Gallery [has been] occupied by the Academy of Sport and Otago Rugby.

Exhibition Art Gallery (Former), Dunedin | Susan Irvine | 16/10/2018 | Heritage New Zealand
Exhibition Art Gallery (Former), Dunedin | Susan Irvine | 16/10/2018 | Heritage New Zealand
Exhibition Art Gallery (Former), Dunedin. Interior detail | Susan Irvine | 16/10/2018 | Heritage New Zealand



List Entry Information


Detailed List Entry



List Entry Status

Historic Place Category 1


Private/No Public Access

List Number


Date Entered

7th July 1982

Date of Effect

7th July 1982

City/District Council

Dunedin City


Otago Region

Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the part of the land described as Pt Lot 4 DP 487989, RT 705851), Otago Land District and the building known as Exhibition Art Gallery (Former), thereon.

Legal description

Pt Lot 4 DP 487989, RT 705851), Otago Land District

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