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On 31 May, 1899, the doors of The Suter Art Gallery opened for the first time.

On this day in 1899, the doors of The Suter Art Gallery opened for the first time, thanks to the vision of Anglican Bishop Andrew Burn Suter and the generosity of his wife, Amelia. Their shared dream of a cultural haven in Nelson has flourished into one of the oldest galleries in New Zealand.
From its inception, The Suter was more than a building; it was a commitment to the arts, a tribute to a man who valued creativity and education. The original structure, designed by Frederick de Jersey Clere, stood proudly with its skylight lantern, a beacon of innovation.
Over the last 125 years, The Suter has evolved into a treasure trove of New Zealand art. The gallery has grown, adapted, and been reimagined, always with the mission to foster the collection, creation, and appreciation of art.
As we stand in the gallery today, we are surrounded by history and artistry. We remember the Matthew Campbell School’s role, the McKee Gallery’s expansion, the transformative vision of our first Director, Austin Davies, and our award-winning redevelopment in 2016. Each change has been a step towards excellence, ensuring The Suter remains a vital part of Nelson’s artistic soul.
Here’s to another 125 years of The Suter Art Gallery, a place where art lives, breathes and inspires.

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