The spectacular building which houses the Forrester Gallery could be considered the finest work in the collection. Its history dates back to 1882 when the Bank of New South Wales purchased a plot of land next to the rival Bank of Otago, now the National Bank. The building served as a bank and manager’s residence until 1979 when the Oamaru Borough Council acquired the site in exchange for a suitable location in the central business district. The local council had been searching for a suitable location for a gallery since 1965 when retired architect and former mayor, John M. Forrester left a substantial bequest for the founding of a local gallery. After significant restoration including earthquake strengthening, the Forrester Gallery was opened in 1983. Today the Forrester Gallery, which is funded and administered by the Waitaki District Council, offers the Waitaki and wider region a varied and exciting exhibition programme, houses a growing collection of artworks significant to the region, and stands as an icon of Oamaru’s unique whitestone historic district. The gallery supports local and regional artists and offers national and international exhibitions in all media, which reflect and challenge community interest. The Forrester Gallery is registered as a Category 1 site by the Historic Places Trust.
Entry Free | Donations Welcome.