Recommendations, Wellington

European Masters Exhibition

This exhibition at Te Papa has been on since November and is due to finish up at the end of February.

I had been putting off going since it is $22.50 for an adult.  I know, I’m tight.  But with a good reason.  Many moons ago I did my OE through Europe and one of the main visiting points in most cities were the world famous art museums.  So when you’ve been to the Louvre, the Musée D’Orsay, Museo del Prado, the National Gallery and so on and so forth you tend to have an unrealistically high expectation of what constitutes a European “Master”.

Then luck would have it that we had to book accommodation for a business visitor from Singapore.  We chose the Museum Hotel next door to where we live.  Nice and convenient.  What we didn’t know was that they were giving tickets to their guests.  As the visitor was only in town for a day and a half for business only, he passed those tickets on to us.  They then sat on our kitchen counter for a month or two and Christmas came and went.

Then Nana Oh Waily came to visit.  She is a painter.  What better than to go to the exhibition with someone who paints !  So we did.
Luckily Nana OW is very understanding of the ignorant (me) non-painting comments.  But we did between us decide that Tischbein’s painting of Goethe has a dodgy foot.  His right foot, no matter up close or from a distance looks like it should be his left.

It was an interesting and reasonably varied selection of paintings.  It covered an extensive time period, a lot of the artists were German which shouldn’t be surprising since the Städel Museum is in Frankfurt am Main.  But I am glad that I didn’t have to pay the $22.  I would’ve been disappointed by the selection of art and artists I think.

If you haven’t been to many “Masters” exhibitions you may find this of great interest, but if you have been to some of the best static collection art galleries in the world you may be disappointed.  Better still I think the exhibition may be free to Wellington ratepayers.  If you fall in to this category and want to see it, then for free it is a good deal and worth the visit.

And frankly, I still prefer the Goldie in Te Papa’s open collection on the 5th Floor.

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6 thoughts on “European Masters Exhibition”

  1. Gosh, didn’t realise you had to pay to attend that one. We had a Masters exhibition here probably 6 or 7 years ago and it was free they just kept strict tabs on how many people were allowed in at any one time. I do think it’s sad when they make things like this out of reach for everyday New Zealanders who are never likely to have the money to travel overseas and $22 is the difference between being able to eat properly all week and not

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  2. @ Laugan – if you’re a Wellington City ratepayer you can get in for free. Only found that out a few days ago, after we had been to the exhibition.
    I know what you mean about the price. It would’ve been skipped by me if we hadn’t had the tickets. But, on the other hand I know just how expensive putting on an exhibition like this is. The insurance alone would make your eyes water and go some way to paying off a small 3rd World country’s debt, never mind the specialist transportation arrangements and protection. I’m sure the $22 doesn’t even get close to covering those costs at all. 😦
    Rock and hard place I’d say.

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