Nothing is ever sold so that the body of works, now numbering over 7500
The main objective of the Wallace Arts Trust is the acquisition of new artworks by contemporary New Zealand artists. Recent acquisitions are often exhibited at The Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre.
Sir James Wallace personally chooses each artwork; frequenting dealer galleries often, to keep current with developments in contemporary New Zealand art.
Sir James Wallace began collecting New Zealand art in the mid-1960s, with a particular focus on the work of emerging artists. In 1992 he transferred his Collection to a newly formed Charitable Trust, which he proceeded to fund so that it could continue to add to the Collection and provide support for the arts in New Zealand in general.
His original aim was to assist emerging artists through both patronage and promotion through exhibitions. However, as the Trust became more established, it broadened its scope to include the acquisition of works by artists as they continued to develop, so creating a ‘diary collection’. Gaps have often been filled through collaborations with artists and their dealers.
Nothing is ever sold so that the body of works, now numbering over 7500, will remain in its entirety as a cultural resource for present and future generations. The Trust owns the strongest collection in any hands of a number of senior artists such as Sir Toss Woollaston and Philip Trusttum, and also of many emerging and mid-career artists, and has significant holdings of many other well-known artists. In addition, the Trust has initiated over 80 commissions ranging from Pat Hanly stained glass windows to Terry Stringer sculptures.