Lack of wall space prompts NZ art auction

Nearly 80 paintings from one of the largest private collections of New Zealand art will be put up for sale at a rare auction in Auckland tonight.

Kaikoura Coast by Doris Lusk, one of the paintings being auctioned by the Fletcher Trust

The Fletcher Trust, which bought its first painting 52 years ago in 1962, says it's simply running out of wall space for the Fletcher Collection.

The collection of New Zealand art began with the purchase of four works by English watercolourist John Barr Clarke Hoyte, who died in 1913.

"Paintings of this quality need to be viewed and appreciated and we simply do not have the wall space to do that," says Angus Fletcher, Fletcher Trust chairman.

"We loan paintings to the Government Houses in Wellington and Auckland and for numerous other exhibitions and tours and we are getting some exceptionally good responses from those who have seen these works," he says.

Seventy-seven paintings will go under the hammer at the International Art Centre in Parnell.

Mr Fletcher says the sale is a unique chance for art lovers to acquire some art with a focus on New Zealand, and the sale will not be repeated.

Proceeds from the sale will be used to foster the philanthropic aims of the trust which are focused on education and youth development with the aim of supporting programmes which enrich the lives of young New Zealanders and communities.