We hold the collections of the Hawke's Bay Museums Trust, held in trust for the benefit of the people of Hawke's Bay. Objects in the collection are an invaluable resource for enjoyment, education and exhibition. MTG Hawke’s Bay staff develop, document and maintain the collection to ensure that it is accessible to the public, researchers, and other organisations.
The collection was largely assembled by Hawke’s Bay Art Gallery & Museum Society, prior to the formation of the Trust and who deposited them in the care of the Trust in 1989.
Objects are acquired for the collection through purchase and donation. Many people have given objects that they have owned, lived with, used and loved. Others have built up their own collections, enjoyed them through their lives before giving them to the Museum for future generations to enjoy and treasure. The result is a diverse collection of more than 100,000 objects and archival material.
The nature of the items in the care of MTG Hawke’s’ Bay reflect the history of the institution, the individuals involved, and changes in collecting interests in New Zealand since the mid-nineteenth century.
The original members of the Athenaeum focused on collecting Maori and ethnographic objects along with natural history specimens. From 1936 the Museum pursued an open collection policy, accepting a broad range of objects offered to the collections. The 1940s saw the collection divest itself of its natural history collection and refocus on social history, fine and applied arts.
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Operational matters relating to the Hawke's Bay Museums Trust collection are carried out by MTG Hawke’s Bay staff.
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