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Max Gimblett’s Art of Remembrance on display at Museum

Max Gimblett’s Art of Remembrance on display at Auckland War Memorial Museum

The highly popular WWI commemoration project The Art of Remembrance has a new home at Auckland War Memorial Museum. From today, artist Max Gimblett’s commemorative art installation becomes Te Pourewa Whakamaharatanga, The Tower of Remembrance,installed on a tower at the Museum’s south entrance.

The Art of Remembrance captured public imagination in 2015 with its solid brass quatrefoil poppies created by artist Max Gimblett ONZM in honour of the soldiers that served in the First World War. These individually hand-screen-printed artworks were bought by people around New Zealand and the world to support the preservation of St David’s, the WWI Soldiers’ Memorial Church in Grafton.

Now the installation will have a home at Auckland Museum for the next five years, with hundreds of the brass quatrefoil poppies adorning a tower at the Museum’s Southern Entrance. Auckland Museum’s Director of Collections & Research David Reeves says the project is a fitting collaboration for Auckland War Memorial Museum.

“As a War Memorial, it is fitting that the Museum collects not only historical examples of commemoration but contemporary examples too. The Art of Remembrance was a great example of a WWI Centenary project that involved a leading New Zealand artist and benefited a war memorial building in a contemporary way,” says Mr Reeves.

“The art installation captured public imagination so strongly, and it is an honour to be able to display these artworks in a new setting, acknowledging a local commemorative project and continuing to remember those who lost their lives in WWI,” he says.

A New Zealand soldier, Sergeant James Rankin who died on the Somme exactly 100 years on 20 September, 1916 was honoured at the unveiling ceremony.

Sergeant Rankin was from Grafton and his family were members of St David’s Church. His descendants were in attendance at the unveiling ceremony on September 20th.

Paul Baragwanath, curator of the St David’s Art of Remembrance project, says, “Sergeant Rankin represents not only the St David’s men whose lives were taken, but the loss of all New Zealanders who died or were affected by the First World War.”

“St David’s Church was built, much like Auckland War Memorial Museum, as a soldier’s memorial so that we would never forget.”

The Friends of St David’s have generously gifted a set of seven of Max Gimblett’s quatrefoils to Auckland Museum’s collection.


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