The Permanent Collection

The Permanent Collection represents notable works of art from well known artists who are, or were, members of the Otago Art Society.  Over the years since 1930 the OAS has purchased and been donated, a large collection of paintings from members.

Shona McFarlane Gallery

A changing selection of works from the Permanent Collection is displayed in the Shona McFarlane Gallery, the central hall upstairs at the Dunedin Railway Station. We have been steadily expanding the collection over the last few years and it now boasts more than 100 fine works of art, that we aim to keep permanently.

Artists of note

Some of the outstanding items are the large self-portrait by Elizabeth Kelly (1877-1946), a little gem of a watercolour by William M. Hodgkins (father of Frances Hodgkins), A.H. O’Keeffe’s painting of a vase of crysanthemums, Graham Tait’s The Silver Peaks, and Shona McFarlane’s Sandfly Bay, Otago Peninsula.

There are many other noted artists – Roy Dickison, W.Allen Bollard, Robert Donn, H.V. Miller, Els Noordhof, Elizabeth Stevens, Rona Dyer, Colin Wheeler, etc— including also many contemporary artists who are still active in our society’s regular exhibitions.

We hope that these photos give some impression of treasures in our Permanent Collection. We also have a Catalogue of Works available at a modest price ($8 per copy).

We still have some omissions

We still have some notable omissions of major figures in the history of art in Otago and strive to fill gaps. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you would like to donate a work, ancient or modern, that we might like to preserve for all in this collection. We have already asked our artists to consider giving us a representative work of their own choice as a lasting memorial. Unfortunately we do not have large funds available for purchasing artworks.

‘Self portrait’ by Elizabeth Kelly CBE (1877 – 1946)

In the 19th and early 20th-century days the Society collected many fine paintings for a future Public Art Gallery. These included such treasures as Frances Hodgkins’ Ayesha, van der Velden’s Otira Gorge, A.H. O’Keeffe’s The Defence Minister’s Telegram and founder William Mathew Hodgkins’ Gorse in Bloom.  That collection passed over (with financial assets) to the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Society during an amalgamation from 1922 to 1930, but is still in the Public Art Gallery, The Octagon, Dunedin, today. We are proud of all works in our collection — for their artistry and as a permanent memorial for members, past and present that will be treasured and shared for public view.

Fence washing line, looking back to Dunedin. William Mathew Hodgkins.

Otago Art Society Sponsors

The Silver Peaks. Graham Tait.

Sandfly Bay, Otago Peninsula. Shona McFarlane.

The Dream Persists. Audrey Bascand.