About This Site
War Art Online has been created to make New Zealand’s National Collection of War Art more accessible. There are approximately 1,500 original art works in the collection, most of them in long-term storage. We now have digital images of over 1,400 of these, taken from photographic transparencies made of the original art works several years ago.
Some of the transparencies have minor flaws, for example, scratches, light reflection from the camera flash, or visible colour registration panels. We have not attempted to 'touch up' the images in any way. They are high quality scans of the transparency as found.
The logistics involved in exhibiting more than a few of the original art works at a time means that many of them have not been shown in public for a long time. Others are too fragile to be displayed and are part of a long-term conservation programme. The original art works can be viewed at Archives New Zealand’s Wellington Office, by arrangement.
War Art Online is also a continuation for Archives New Zealand of its move into more digital world. It has been a pilot project for us to experiment with the best ways to make parts of our holdings available in digital form and has allowed us to build up some of the infrastructure needed to do this.
This system allows people viewing the images to add their own comments and subject tags. The tags are then used to provide richer search results for everyone. The next few years will see us make more digital material available on the Internet with similar 'public participation' features.
The images from War Art Online are also available in Matapihi. Matapihi is a product of the National Digital Forum, of which Archives New Zealand was a founding partner.
We also have an exhibition of 26 paintings from the collection on at Archives New Zealand in Wellington – more information on this see War Art Exhibition on our web site.