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Level 5, Te PapaCurrent Exhibition
You are invited to have coffee with Helen Hitchings to mark the opening of her gallery where furniture, fabrics, pottery, and works of art by New Zealand designers will be displayed …
Invitation, May 1949
In 1949, a glamorous trailblazer opened the first modern art-dealer gallery in New Zealand. Helen Hitchings (1920–2002) was just 28 when she began promoting future icons of New Zealand art and design including Rita Angus, Toss Woollaston, Colin McCahon, and Len Castle.
Hitchings created an informal, welcoming atmosphere in her Wellington gallery. She encouraged visitors - who had seldom seen modern art and design outside of magazines – to ‘look at and feel everything’.
Her gallery operated for two years. In that short time, it helped make avant-garde art and cutting-edge design a tangible reality for post-war Wellingtonians.
Read more about this exhibition in 'Pig islanders painting like Picasso: Linda Tyler talks Orwellian haircuts, boogie-woogie rhythms, and waltzing koru in her introduction to modernism in New Zealand' in Off the Wall