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We're proud to announce the launch of our reimagined National Collection of War Art . We’ve worked hard to build something that looks good, improves accessibility, and allows you to get up close and personal with the artwork through zooming and panning.

You can search by category, artist or keyword. Refine your search and add filters for the different types of artwork that make up the collection. Best of all, as a result of digitisation we're able to share even more of this collection than was previously available.

The National Collection of War Art began during World War One. Artists were selected to create a record of New Zealand’s involvement in the conflict. New Zealand’s first official war artists were given the role in 1918 and by 1922 the Dominion Museum register recorded an 86-piece Fine Arts War Collection. The role of war artists was recognised early in World War Two with artists and groups requesting positions. Following the war, the collection continued to grow with additions made by the British Government, and submissions from unofficial war artists.

The artwork was kept in storage, and some remained there until the 1980s. We took over the care of the collection in 1981 and a nationwide recall of the works was undertaken. We’re proud to present this collection of almost 1,500 artworks covering major conflicts involving New Zealanders from World War One onward. The collection includes artwork by many prominent New Zealand artists, such as George Butler, Peter McIntyre and Nugent Welch. 

As a result of this work, we will be turning off the old War Art website by 30 June 2020. The old site sits on an outdated platform that's no longer supported. It was set up around a decade ago to complement a physical exhibition held in Wellington.

We're still missing information on many of the war artists. If you have biographical information you’d like to share with appropriate sources, please email us at


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