Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Director’s cut

With Chris Saines off back to the Queensland Art Gallery, the search is on for a new Auckland Art Gallery Director. Apparently Saines scored Queensland out of a field of 30 and a short list of six so presumably some of them will be possibilities for the Auckland job. Let's hope the decision making will be faster than Queensland’s appointment process that dragged on for about 10 months.
In its 60 year history the Auckland Art Gallery has had nine directors (although one of them, Grant Kirby, was acting in the role for a couple of years while the Gallery mustered up the courage to appoint its first and only New Zealand-born director Rodney Wilson who left the post 34 years ago). 

The first two directors, Eric Westbrook and Peter Tomory, came from the UK, Richard Teller Hirsch came from the United States, and the rest were Australians: Gil Docking, Ernest Smith, Christopher Johnstone (via the UK) and Saines.

Johnstone was in his early 40s when he took up the job, Chris Saines was 40 and Rodney Wilson was 36 so maybe we can expect someone in that age zone to be a contender.

Some numbers:

0    the number of women who have directed the Auckland Art Gallery

1.3  the population of Auckland in millions

1.5  the number in millions of visitors to Chris Saines’s new institution QAGOMA (that’s what they call it) last year

2.1  the population of Brisbane in millions

8.2  the average number of years served by Auckland Art Gallery Directors

17  the number of years Chris Saines has been director of the Auckland Art Gallery

25   the percentage of Auckland Art Gallery directors with doctorates

39  the average age on appointment of the last three directors

50  the annual budget of QAGOMA in millions of dollars

100 the number of people on the Auckland Art Gallery staff

270  the number of  people on the QAGOMA staff

667  the number in thousands of visits to the Auckland Art Gallery last year