The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatu is the public art gallery for the Nelson region.
Our vision is reflected in the Maori name given to The Suter:
‘Te Aratoi o Whakatu’ Art is the Pathway for Whakatu – Nelson’
Many visitors to this art gallery ask: “What is The Suter?” While the answer is simple, it is also a longer story that is worth telling.
The simple story is that The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatu is a memorial to the second Bishop of Nelson, Andrew Burn Suter (1830-1895). Bishop Suter and his wife Amelia travelled to Nelson in 1867 and soon became leading figures in Nelson’s early cultural life.
- Shop at the Suter Store for art publications, cards and original art works by top of the South artists.
- Enjoy the cinema, live performances, events and talks.
- Relax, partake of delicious food and enjoy the outlook of the Suter Cafe overlooking the tranquil historic Queen’s Gardens.
- Take in exhibition presented in the Original, Sargood and McKee galleries.
- Make an appointment to visit behind-the-scenes in The Suter collection stores, or to use the art library and archives.
- From local to international, there is something for all ages and interests.
It was the Bishop’s ‘long cherished’ wish to present an art gallery to the people of Nelson. But in 1890, he suffered a debilitating stroke, later dying in 1895. Immediately after, Amelia took steps to realise her husband’s dream. She gifted some land, money and Bishop Suter’s art collection as the founding donation for a public art gallery in Nelson. Herself unwell, Amelia then returned to England and died barely a year after her husband.
Amelia left the building of a gallery in the hands of the founding Board of Trustees, comprising leading figures in Nelson society. In 1899 the ‘Bishop Suter Art Gallery’ was opening on this site and for more than a century, the people of the Nelson Tasman region and visitors to this place, have enjoyed the experience of art – just as Bishop Andrew and Amelia Suter desired.