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Susanna Shadbolt Appointed Director of Aratoi Museum

Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History in Masterton, Wairarapa, welcomes Susanna Shadbolt as Director. Susanna Shadbolt has experience with local, national, and international museums: Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Christchurch City Art Gallery, Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science and History, and Square Edge Arts Centre in Palmerston North. She has also taught Museum Studies at Massey University. At Aratoi Museum, she initially served as Curator/Registrar, then as Acting Director, and will be Director as of July 1.

Susanna Shadbolt has a Master’s Degree (Hons) in Art History and Classical Archaeology from University of Cologne, Germany, a Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies from Massey University, and Certificates in Te Ara Reo Maori and Maori Visual Arts. She is currently studying towards a Graduate Diploma in Business Studies, and has varying levels of proficiency in German, English, Te Reo Maori, Dutch, French, Latin, and has studied hieroglyphics.

Patron of Aratoi Museum, the artist and Masterton resident Dame Robin White, says, "Susanna Shadbolt envisions a first-class museum for the future that brings community voices and values to life - a museum that celebrates art, history and culture, tells the stories of its peoples, and inspires new generations."

Barbara Roydhouse, Chair of the Aratoi Regional Trust Board, which made the appointment, says, “The Aratoi Regional Trust Board looks forward to working with Susanna Shadbolt, an extremely well-qualified museum professional, as well as a strategic thinker, and clear decision maker. Her work as Acting Director has been exemplary.”

Susanna Shadbolt has published and presented on a wide range of topics: the impact of technology on 20th century art, the intersection of poetry and visual art, global video art, contemporary New Zealand photography, and on the work of John Bevan Ford.

Founded in 1969, Aratoi is the region’s largest museum and has a public-owned collection of about 4,000 items in four key areas: social history, textiles, taonga Maori, and art from the pre-historic to the contemporary. Exhibitions for 2017 include Te Marae o Rongotaketake, the largest ever display of Ngāti Kahungunu taonga, and a survey of Elizabeth Thomson’s work, curated by Gregory O’Brien.

The appointment becomes effective July 1, 2017.


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