Ōamaru Forrester Gallery (Formerly Bank of New South Wales)

By Oamaru Stone (Parkside Quarries)

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The Ōamaru Forrester Gallery (formerly known as the Bank of New South Wales) is an iconic museum located in the historic precinct of Ōamaru, New Zealand. It is listed as a Category I site by Heritage NZ, and is funded by the Waitaki District Council. Admission to the museum is free.  

The original building was constructed in 1884 to the design of architect R.A. Lawson, and features beautiful Oamaru Stone balustrades, columns and decorative moldings. It served as a bank and manager’s residence until 1979, when the Ōamaru Borough Council acquired the site in exchange for another in the central business district. This was made possible by a substantial bequest left in 1965 by retired architect and former mayor, John Meggett Forrester. 

Today, the gallery provides the people of the Waitaki district and wider region with a varied and exciting exhibition programme. It also houses a growing collection of artworks that are of significant importance to the region, thus making the Forrester Gallery a vital part of the cultural life of Ōamaru and the wider region. 

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