The Dowse

Galleries and museum key icon.
Galleries and museum key icon.


Tuesday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Wednesday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Thursday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Friday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Saturday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Sunday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

45 Laings Road, Hutt Central, Lower Hutt

04 570 6500

Renowned for its creative spirit, the Wellington region is home to an enviable array of world-class art galleries and museums. And sitting at the heart of Lower Hutt’s cultural scene - both geographically and figuratively - lies the Dowse Art Museum, one of the finest specimens in the region.

At first glance from outside, the Dowse looks like anything but a home for some of New Zealand’s finest artists and artworks. The imposing building dominates the Laings Road landscape, smack bang in the centre of Lower Hutt city. Practically blending into the skyline on a clear sunny day, the white facade gives little away regarding the treasures that await within.

As with the best art galleries around the world, the collections and exhibitions at the Dowse are ever-changing and evolving, ensuring even repeat visitors are guaranteed a left-field, out-of-the-box experience each time they come to explore. From exhibitions featuring large knitted animals to experimental video art, no two shows are the same. The overarching focus at the Dowse, however, is firmly on showcasing the best contemporary art including New Zealand studio craft. Alongside painting installations and video, expect to see plenty of ceramics, textiles, jewellery, and the like, celebrated in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways. With a collection spanning more than 3,500 items, it’s certainly a formidable catalogue of art.

A family-friendly kids activity area, beautiful gift shop, and popular cafe all housed within the same building means you can make a real day out of visiting the Dowse. Since its inception, the museum has had a relentless focus on breaking free from the norms of the day - an ethos that’s still alive and well to this day.

Words by John Son & Photography by Anna Briggs

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45 Laings Road, Hutt Central, Lower Hutt

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