In 2021 The Suter marks its 122 anniversary as Nelson’s public art gallery. It was announced by Bishop Suter’s wife Amelia upon his death in 1895 that it was his ‘long cherished wish’ that the people of Nelson have an art gallery and to honour this wish Amelia gifted to the city property and art to establish what is now The Suter Art Gallery. Over the decades the art collection has grown from the Suter’s initial gift of 30 paintings – a significant number of them being John Gully watercolours – to over 1,500 paintings, sculptures, ceramics, textiles, jewellery, digital and mixed media artworks.

Some of the newest acquisitions to the collection reflect the historic strengths of the collection, including Nineteenth Century watercolours, abstract artworks and the iconic paintings of Toss Woollaston. As Nelson, New Zealand and the world has evolved, so has The Suter’s collection. The work of Emma Fitts, Moniek Schrijer and Jay Hutchinson highlight the growing role of craft in contemporary art practices. Ceramics has had a strong presence in Nelson for over fifty years and in The Suter’s collection, and with the purchase of a major work by Christine Boswijk and several gifts of pieces by international and Nelson potters, this strength continues to grow. We also see the ways in which exhibitions have influenced the shape of the collection over the last several years with the acquisition of work by Lisa Chandler, Shannon Novak and Josephine Cachemaille who have each exhibited significant work at The Suter over the last five years.

A mix of local and nationally significant artists, these latest acquisitions to the collection have come to us through the generosity of our friends, supporters, artists and art lovers across Aotearoa. We hope to continue to pay tribute to Bishop Suter and his ‘long cherished wish’ by bringing to Nelson artworks that challenge, delight and inspire.

Opening Hours

  • Open daily, 9.30am - 4.30pm


  • 208 Bridge Street
  • Whakatū, Nelson