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Up Front gallery, Level 5Previous Exhibition
Jonathan Mane-Wheoki CMNZ
Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kurī, Te Aupōuri, Pākehā
Art historian, curator, colleague, friend
We acknowledge with sadness the recent death of Jonathan Mane-Wheoki – esteemed scholar and curator, and much-loved colleague.
We pay tribute to this mighty tōtara – a champion of New Zealand’s bicultural art history, whose pioneering scholarship transformed how Māori and Pacific art are understood and appreciated today. We recognise, too, his passion for architecture and cultural history.
Jonathan’s contributions extend far beyond the walls of Te Papa, where he was Head of Arts and Visual Culture. They were formally recognised this year when he was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM).
Jonathan Mane-Wheoki leaves a legacy as a charismatic leader and mentor. He lectured for many years at the University of Canterbury, and later held senior leadership roles at Te Papa and the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts. A generation of students and curators remember his intelligence and generosity with the utmost respect and affection.
At Te Papa, Jonathan worked tirelessly to give prominence to the national art collection. The seeds he sowed have blossomed into the Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa programme of exhibitions, which changes regularly to showcase more of the collection.
Jonathan was a deeply religious man. He greatly admired the work of Colin McCahon, who explored Christian themes in his work.
Jonathan, we say farewell – and thank you. You live on in our hearts, our aspirations, and the work we continue in your honour. Haere atu rā, e te rangatira.