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Rare Hundertwasser conservation posters found after 40 years

Rare Hundertwasser conservation posters found after 40 years

When Jan and Arnold Heine put a roll of conservation posters into storage in 1974 they had no idea that 42 years later they would be collectors items. The posters were distributed as part of the conservation week campaign. They were designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, a world famous artist who settled in NZ.

Jan and Arnold were driven to fish them out when they learned of the effort in Whangarei to raise money to build the art gallery Hundertwasser designed for the city. They were overseas with a friend from Whangarei who told them about the project. It occurred to them the project team might be able to use the posters that they had put in storage decades ago.

Jenny Hill, PNT art sales co-ordinator says “When I first learnt of this cache of vintage posters I did some research and very quickly realised they represented a small gold mine. I was gobsmacked when I learnt that they are now worth more than $1000 a piece”.

After learning their value Jan and Arnold kept a handful for themselves, but still donated the remaining 30 to the fundraising effort.

Richard Smart, who was Hundertwasser's friend and colleague, when he was alive says “Nature was so important to Hundertwasser and he used art to make people aware of it.”.

The poster was wildly successful at the time and helped Hundertwasser to gain his NZ citizenship. However, few of the original posters have survived and even less in such pristine condition.

The posters are being sold through the website yeswhangarei.co.nz in order to raise funds to build the gallery, which will house original Hundertwasser art and top quality contemporary Maori art. Half have already sold.


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