The Robert Macaulay Collection is a Single-Owner Collection like no other, featuring over 140 works; paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, studio glass, ceramics, bronzes, furniture and books, mainly focused on the male form. This special online only auction features work by Terry Stringer, Robin White, Richard McWhannell, Nigel Brown, Tom Burnett, Gary Nash, Len Castle and many more.
Greymouth born Macaulay who had a career in corporate finance, began his collection at the tender age of 18 by purchasing a ceramic vase by OC Stephens. But it wasn’t until a move to Auckland in his early-forties that he began collecting prolifically, housing the collection in his sun drenched modernist property in Mission Bay.
The first male nude acquired was a drawing by Pauline Vivian, Macaulay initially collected a variety of works with mixed subject matter, however after a time on the advice of gallerists and artists he began to focus primarily on male figurative works. He would acquire works in Auckland mainly from dealer galleries, but occasionally directly from artists and at auction. Annually he would travel to Sydney and do a circuit of 16 favoured galleries, developing ongoing relationships with the gallerists.
The collection is unusual in the fact that it features a collection – within the collection, four works all depicting the same model. One of Robert’s favourite pieces in the collection was ‘Late Afternoon’ by Peter Waddell, a few days after the purchase he went to a Terry Stringer exhibition and discovered Stringer has used the same model for the work ‘Lance Torso’ (pictured above) which he later purchased from an edition of four. Several weeks later the artist John Papas said he also used the same model in a ceramic work ‘Male Presence’ which he would add to his collection and finally some years later he chanced upon a small piece by Mary McIntyre who again depicted the infamous ‘Lance’
The work Robert was most proud of is a ‘Figure Study’ by Melbourne artist David Warren, this delicate tonal work exemplifies the artists careful handling of the male form. Macaulay lamented that the collection made him feel an “admiration for the work of these artists in accomplishing something beyond my own capability.”
The collection is on view at our Mt Eden premises 12-15 February 10am-5.30pm and Saturday 16 February 10am-2pm.