The Friends of the New Zealand Portrait Gallery were established in 1995 and celebrated their 25th anniversary on 1 October last year by generously hosting the 2020 Ovenden lecture. When the Gallery was founded in the 1990s, it had no permanent home or professional staff, and no funds. In their first decade, the Friends enthusiastically took on responsibility for promoting and mounting exhibitions and starting what eventually became the biennial Adam Portraiture Award.

This exhibition, Friends’ Favourites, is a celebration of their incredible efforts over the past 25 years while offering them a chance to again be directly involved in curating an exhibition. The carefully selected works in this exhibition were chosen by the Friends Committee from the New Zealand Portrait Gallery Collection: each work has a special meaning or connection to the person who made the selection.

The Friends are a dynamic group of volunteers who continue to provide tangible support to the Gallery as well as opportunities for its members. If you are interested in participating in the growth of the Gallery as a national institution and are considering becoming a Friend of the New Zealand Portrait Gallery, please pick up a brochure at reception or go onto our website to find out more. Benefits include invitations to exhibition openings, advance notice of Gallery events and programmes, and tours to artists’ studios, private art collections and other galleries and museums.

Opening Hours

  • Open daily, 10.30am – 4.30pm


  • Shed 11, Wellington Waterfront
  • 60 Lady Elizabeth Lane