50th Anniversary


2021 marks the 50th Anniversary of The Dowse Art Museum. To celebrate this important milestone we have a special programme of exhibitions, talks and events that reflect our past while looking forward to the future.

The Dowse Art Gallery was officially opened in 1971. It was named in memory of Mayor Percy and Mayoress Mary Dowse who both played significant roles in the development of Lower Hutt and the arts.

Over the next 5 decades The Dowse has grown in size, changed names, shown countless exhibitions and become the kaitiaki of Nuku Tewhatewha. It has become a space for artists to test ideas, challenge preconceptions and offer something out of the ordinary for local audiences and visitors from around the country and all over the world.

The Dowse has hosted talks, workshops and festivals that have inspired change, put a spotlight on innovation and given voice to issues of the day. It has been a site of connection for communities and been a hub for creativity both within and outside its walls.

So, across 2021, we are underlining the many successes of this remarkable Lower Hutt institution over its history and opening up opportunities to look at the incredible potential there is for its future.