Art Collection Guidelines


All members of the University community.


To set out guidelines for development of the University Art Collection and to provide guidance for members of the University community regarding the artwork in their care.


The University has been collecting art works since the 1960s and has amassed more than 1700 art works including significant works by major New Zealand artists. Most of these works are on display across the University’s campuses. The University Art Collection is a vital resource for teaching, learning and research, and a cherished part of the University’s intellectual and cultural life. As the kaitiaki of these taonga the University is committed to their ongoing care and display.

The collection incorporates works from several separate collections, which were consolidated in 2004. Libraries and Learning Services is responsible for the management and care of the collection.

The Art Acquisitions Committee, chaired by the University Librarian and Director of Libraries and Learning Services, is responsible for strategic oversight and collection acquisition decisions.  


The University Art Collection will be managed and developed with reference to the University’s mission and core values, notably:

  • Commitment to the conservation, advancement and dissemination of knowledge through teaching, research and creative work.
  • Commitment to collegiality, diversity and intellectual rigor.
  • Serving our student body.
  • Advancing the intellectual, cultural, environmental and social well-being of the peoples of Auckland and New Zealand.
  • Recognising the University’s special relationship with Māori under the Treaty of Waitangi.
  • Providing equal opportunities.
  • Open, responsible and accountable administrative practices.

The collection will be managed in ways which:

  • Develops a collection which would foster research, learning and teaching on the visual arts within the University.
  • Fosters awareness and understanding of the visual arts in the University community.
  • Recognises the contribution of the collection to the special character of the University as a tertiary institution and the cultural vitality of its physical spaces.
  • Enhance the University’s physical and cultural environment through the display of art works and their incorporation into the university’s physical spaces.
  • Allows the provision of a high standard of curatorial care for the collection.


The following definitions apply to this document:

Art works refers to taonga tuku iho and other objects or activities created in the context of artistic and/or cultural production and with the intention of engaging with audiences or participants in an appreciation and/or development of art and/or culture.

It includes work produced in various media in two- and three-dimensions as well as time based and distributed practices.

Its material forms include but are not limited to: artist’s book, ceramic, collage, conceptual practice (and its documentation), digital and on-line (including AR and VR), drawing, graphic media, installation, mixed media, moving image, objet trouvé, painting, performance (and its documentation), photography, print, raranga, sculpture, social practice (and its documentation), sound work, textile, whakaahua, whakairo and combinations of these media.

Collection refers to the University Art Collection.

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Owner: University Librarian and Director of Libraries and Learning Services
Content manager: Manager Cultural Collections, Libraries and Learning Services
Approved by: Art Acquisitions Committee
Date approved: 21 March 2024
Review date: 21 March 2029