Three sculptural figures from the Otago Museum's Pacific
collection have been included in an international art
exhibition in Australia and one of the artefacts features on
the show's catalogue cover.
The ''Atua - Sacred Gods from Polynesia'' exhibition has been
curated by the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, and
will open on May 23.
The exhibition will then tour to the St Louis Art Museum in
the United States.
The Otago-based artefacts will be displayed in distinguished
company, among loaned artefacts from more than 30 museum
collections around the world, including the British Museum
and the Vatican Ethnological Museum, as well as institutions
in St Petersburg, Zurich, Geneva and Paris.
The Canberra exhibition has another strong Dunedin
Its curator, Dr Michael Gunn, who is also senior curator of
Pacific art at the NGA, grew up in Dunedin, and has a PhD in
anthropology from the University of Otago.
Dr Gunn was ''very happy'' and proud the ''cover piece and
the other two [artefacts] are from the museum in my home
The Otago Museum held some ''very fine and rare works'' from
Polynesia, he said.
The three artefacts are a wooden atua (god figure) from
Wickliffe Bay, near Dunedin; a female figure from Easter
Island; and a wooden figure believed to be from the Austral
Otago Museum curator humanities Moira White said she expected
the exhibition would be ''a great success in Australia and
further afield'' and would also help raise ''the
international profile of our Pacific collection''.
The exhibition will run in Canberra until August 3.