International Art Centre
Thu, 21 Aug 2014
Seventy Seven Paintings from the Fletcher Trust Collection

Tosswill Woollaston

Rhona Haszard

Selected works from the Fletcher Trust Collection - Auction 10 September 2014


The Fletcher Collection was started in 1962 by Sir James Fletcher II and his friend and colleague George Fraser. Four watercolours by JBC Hoyte were purchased, reputedly for £300 and hung in the boardroom of Fletcher Holdings at Penrose, replacing photographs of race horses. With the continued acquisition of paintings, many from New Zealand's colonial past, an interesting and diverse collection was gradually assembled.

In 1967, the company relocated to the present Fletcher House, where increased wall space prompted the decision to commence collecting contemporary New Zealand paintings. The Collection increased with the 1981 merger of Fletcher Holdings and Challenge Corporation. In Wellington, Challenge Corporation had maintained its own smaller collection since 1965. For ten years following the merger, the two collections functioned in Auckland and Wellington respectively. In 1991 they were consolidated as a single collection in Auckland.

During the 1990s the Fletcher Challenge Collection continued to grow while many other corporate art collections were being dismantled. With the 2001 dissolution of Fletcher Challenge Limited, sole responsibility and ownership of the Collection passed to the Fletcher Trust. Works from the Collection remained on the walls of the Fletcher Building offices at Penrose.

The Collection inherited by the Fletcher Trust had been amassed under a mandate to acquire the finest works by New Zealand artists. In many cases this involved purchasing paintings that represented the high points of periods in the work of our major artists. As a result multiple holdings of work by some artists was both important and inevitable.

The founders, Sir James Fletcher II and George Fraser, always resolutely maintained that the Collection operated primarily for the benefit of staff. Their aim was always to have as few works as possible in storage .

For a variety of reasons along with a change in staff numbers, the rise of the interactive office and increased use of open-planned spaces, there are fewer walls in Fletcher related office buildings and, as a consequence, less hanging space for paintings. The Trust has resolved that, rather than hold these fine art works in storage, the time has come to reduce the size of the Collection.

The Trust has decided to offer for sale by auction seventy seven selected works from the Collection. We welcome your interest in this sale.

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