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Gallery gifted funds to celebrate children’s literature

Updated: Mar 21

Blenheim’s Millennium Public Art Gallery has been gifted funds from the Painted Stories Trust to display beautiful New Zealand picture book illustrations for the benefit of the community and children’s literature.



Painted Stories – Te Tai Tamariki: NZ Children’s Literature Preservation Charitable Trust was formed in 2006 to preserve and promote Aotearoa New Zealand children’s picture books.


The Trust wound up in 2021 and donated their funds and archives to the Millennium Public Art Gallery to support future exhibitions of picture book illustrations and educational and literary programmes for children in the community. The Trust’s funds came from acclaimed children's book author and illustrator Gavin Bishop’s royalties from Quaky Cat, published for children after the Christchurch earthquakes.


Quaky Cat by Gavin Bishop, Front cover and inside pages. Orange cat contrasts against blue background.

Millennium Art Gallery director Cressida Bishop says the Gallery had a long collaborative relationship with the Trust.

“After Painted Stories lost their exhibition space in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, the Millennium Public Art Gallery in Blenheim became the location for the trust’s exhibitions.”


The work of celebrated picture book illustrators have included Robyn Kahukiwa, David Elliott, Lynley Dodd, Ruth Paul, Vasanti Unka, Phoebe Morris, Donovan Bixley, Gavin Bishop, Christine Ross, Fraser Williamson, Brian Lovelock, Vasanti Unka, Ali Teo and many more.


Future projects will be in the new Marlborough District Art Gallery and Library, Cressida says.

“This exciting purpose-built civic building will be the perfect location for future Painted Stories exhibitions.”