Dunedin Public Art Gallery director Cam McCracken (right)
welcomes Gordon McManus, accompanied by Magnus Fleming, who
was the 250,000th visitor to visit the Dunedin Public Art
Gallery this financial year. Photo by Craig Baxter.
A change of art has led to a record year for the Dunedin
Public Art Gallery.
The 250,000th visitor of the financial year strolled in at
11.25am yesterday, to be welcomed by a smiling gallery
director, Cam McCracken.
Gordon McManus, who visited the gallery with Momona resident
Magnus Fleming, said it was ''wonderful'' to be the 250,000th
''It's a great facility,'' he said.
It is the highest number of visitors since the gallery opened
in 1884. The previous 12-month record, of 220,365
visitations, was set in 2011.
''We are delighted at the positive response the year's
exhibitions and events have received. We were aware of a
substantial influx of visitors, but to break the existing
record by 30,000 before the year has even finished is a clear
sign that our visitors like what we are offering them and is
just great,'' Mr McCracken said yesterday. The jump in
attendances coincided with the opening of the Playspace
children's area in October and two popular interactive
''The interactive components in two of the exhibitions we
have hosted over the past year have been a little out of the
ordinary. Seung Yul Oh's 'Moa Moa' and 'Olafur Eliasson: The
Cubic Structural Evolution Project' are two exhibitions that
have included interactive elements. Both of these exhibitions
have been extremely popular, with people coming time and time
again to experience them.''
The result represented an increase of 50,000 (or 20%) more
visitors on the same period, from July 1 to June 30, last
''Our visitor figures are collected from an electronic door
counter that counts visitors as they enter the building.
These figures are audited annually,'' Mr McCracken said.
''Unlike some other institutions, the Dunedin Public Art
Gallery does not include visitors to the adjacent cafe in its
visitor calculations, so this figure only reflects those
people who came to experience the gallery.''
The most popular exhibitions included a collection of wedding
dresses by Dunedin designer Tanya Carlson, ''Hotere
Culbert'', photographer Gregory Crewdson's ''In a Lonely
Place'' and ''Wonderwall: Works from the Collection''.
''There are different elements to each of these exhibitions
that are going to appeal to different people,'' Mr McCracken
''Dunedin people are very proud of the gallery's collection
and are very supportive of exhibitions, such as 'Wonderwall',
that feature large numbers of works that have been drawn from
The gallery now had an eye on extending the record before the
end of the financial year, on June 30.
''It would be amazing to take the number up to 260,000 by the
end of June. That would an extraordinary achievement,'' Mr
''But, we'd really need Dunedin people to get behind us to