This gallery was named after one of the first members of the TAHS (Te Awamutu Historical Society) – Mr. Gavin Gifford. He gifted not only his collection to the new Museum, but also the use of his rooms as the first Museum space. The date, 6th February 1935, making the Te Awamutu Historical Society the first to create a Museum in the Waikato. From those humble beginnings, the Museum has transformed over the decades to what we have today. This gallery pays homage to the legacy gifted by Gavin Gifford.

The Gavin Gifford Gallery is a long-term gallery used for all types of displays, internally and externally developed and touring exhibitions.

Formal Fridays

From the depths of our textile collection, nostalgic formal, functional and fanciful is on show. Covid #formalfriday has become a whimsical movement throughout Aotearoa New Zealand, as a way to cope with our new norm of working from home. #formalfriday is the tradition, practice even religion of wearing a suit every Friday regardless of what the dress code. Through Covid this became a hit with workers dressing up for virtual Friday meetings as a way to mentally deal with being detached from work team mates and friends.

On show are precious objects and taonga Māori from bridal wear to accessories, an exhibition for everyone. It has been a real Museum team effort to showcase something different and interesting for our visitors.

Visitors are more than welcome to dress formal when attending this exhibition.

3rd OCTOBER 2020 – MARCH 20th 2021

Te Kōpuni Kura: Collected Treasures of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

Te Kōpuni Kura is the name of the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa art collection. The name reflects what the collection is – “kōpuni” a group or body of “kura” treasures. First initiated in the late 1980’s through the acquisition of tauira (students) and kaiako (tutors) artworks, Te Kōpuni Kura now consists of over 1000 artworks, displayed across multiple sites, representing the rich history and unique character of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

Drawing from Te Kōpuni Kura, the works selected for this exhibition represent ringa toi (artists) who have helped to shape, establish and deliver Toi Māori (Māori art) programmes at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa over the past 35 years. Collectively representing the calibre of knowledge, expertise and leadership that have been instrumental in the development of this unique pathway of Māori art education, and act as treasured reminders of this history.

Tukua te toi, kia tupu te toi, kia whanake te toi ki te ao, hei hiringa whakaaro mō te katoa.

Let the arts grow and develop in the world, to be an inspiration for all.


Click the exhibition name to see what’s been showing in the Gavin Gifford Gallery!