The Sargood Gift

A Tribute to the Sargood Family

8 August 2015 - 29 May 2016

On 8th August 1915 Lt. Cedric Rolfe Sargood was killed at Gallipoli.  As a memorial to their son, Percy and Lucy Sargood gave substantial funds to establish the Dunedin Public Art Gallery at its former Logan Park site.  Through the years, the couple also donated many significant art works from their personal collection which form the nucleus of the Gallery’s collection today.  This exhibition quietly marks this anniversary and the ongoing relationship the Sargood family has had with the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

As the world pulled itself back from the grips of war, one Dunedin family made a remarkable gift to their community.  In 1926 Mr and Mrs Percy and Lucy Sargood had finally settled on a fitting memorial to their only son Rolfe, who was killed on the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915. Committed supporters of art and culture, the Sargood’s announced their gift to the City of Dunedin of a new art gallery – an enlightened and inspirational setting that would honour the memory of Cedric Rolfe Sargood (1894-1915).

The building in question – an elegant, purpose-built art gallery designed by Edmund Anscombe – had been constructed for the 1925-6 New Zealand and South Seas exhibition.  At the close of this exhibition, the Sargood’s presented this building to the people of Dunedin.  Matched pound for pound by the sale of the former purpose built gallery, (now part of the Toitü Otago Settlers Museum complex), the Sargood’s generous gift opened up a world of possibilities for the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

The Art Gallery building at Logan Park sits at the heart of an ongoing relationship between the Sargood family and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.  Since the 1920s, support from Sir Percy and Lucy, Lady Sargood and the Sargood Bequest (est. 1939), has enriched the art collection through the donation of artwork and the funding of key acquisitions and special projects.  Subsequent generations of the Sargood family have remained closely involved with the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and Society, maintaining Sir Percy Sargood’s vision that art be accessible and inspirational for all.

2015 marks one hundred years since the death of Cedric Rolfe Sargood.  Through artworks and personal archives, this exhibition honours his life and celebrates the enduring legacy of the Sargood Gift.

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