Art collection returns to NZ after 60 years abroad

Source: 1News

A unique art collection has returned to New Zealand after 60 years abroad.

The pieces were created by Auckland Art School students in the early 1960s, before disappearing overseas.

Artists Gretchen Albrecht and Geoff Thornley say they had no idea their original work still existed.

“I get emotional about it looking it again… it's just taken me very strongly into another part of my youth,” says Thornley.

“It's terrific, it's a kind of revelation and remembrance of a very important part of one's life as an artist,” says Albrecht.

That's because 60 years ago, their former art teacher Kurt von Maier moved to us and took the pieces with him.

He died in 2011 and the collection, fully preserved, was recently discovered and given to art historian Hamish Keith.

“These can never be broken up… together they're a cultural object, much more important than the individual works are,” he says.

Keith, in turn, gifted it to Auckland’s Waiheke island art gallery.

“We said yes please! and we're really looking forward to showing it, exhibiting it and also creating a travelling exhibition out of it that can go to other galleries,” says Waiheke art gallery director Linda Chalmers.