I was fortunate enough to visit the Robert McDougall Art Gallery last week and was struck by the beauty of this building.
It felt like I was wearing rose tinted spectacles, the proportions of the galleries leading off from the spectacular centre court are truly ideal for smaller to mid sized works particularly historic paintings which suit the neo palladian architecture so well. That said I think the Gallery's contemporary collection came into its own when we shifted to the new building with the more spacious gallery spaces. Wandering through the McDougall got me thinking which was my most favourite exhibition that I got to see at the Robert McDougall Art Gallery? Without any doubt for me it has to be Tony Fomison: What shall we tell them? in 1994. It was an absolute ripper of an exhibition, a wonderful retrospective of one of my favourite artists that I kept returning to week after week absorbing every work in the show.
I can see Canterbury Museum doing more wonderful things with this building once all these shakes or over and done with if the exhibitions Te Hokinga Mai (2010) and The Heart of the Great Alone: Scott, Shackleton and Antarctic Photography (2010-11) are anything to go by.