The Dowse Art Museum

The Dowse Art Museum is a free public gallery for people to enjoy contemporary art and culture

dowse art museum gallery two people admiring very large hanging artwork


Lower Hutt


45 Laings Road
Lower Hutt


Free | Donation


Wheelchair access

The Dowse Art Museum is a leading contemporary art gallery in Lower Hutt with an international reputation for its high-quality visitor experiences. Entry is free to their regularly changing exhibition programme featuring contemporary visual art, fashion, jewellery, multi-media and ceramics.

Often referred to as "The Dowse", and founded in 1971, it has one of New Zealand's largest and significant public art collection numbering over 2000 items. From exhibitions, workshops, artist talks, conferences, installation, education... they do it all.

dowse art museum people watching show outside in dowse square
dowse art museum gallery visitors looking art artworks
dowse art museum gallery people looking at artwork
dowse art museum people relaxing outside in dowse square

Having undergone an extensive six million dollar makeover by Athfield Architects in 2006, The Dowse Art Museum has been re-born as a cultural hub, with an eclectic display that includes fashion, jewellery, multi-media vignettes and finely-crafted ceramics.

Throughout the gallery are a series of visual 'snacks' that change every six to eight weeks and a sprinkling of creative posts for visitors to roll up their sleeves & reach within to find their inner-artist.

As well as housing over 300 pieces, the gallery contains a destination cafe & gallery shop, an outdoor courtyard, conference facilities and a creative workshop specially designed for hands-on classes and programmes.

They offer fun, educational interactive programmes that relate to the school curriculum and encourage students to think creatively about a variety of subjects ranging from technology to social studies.

Bellbird Eatery is a great family cafe adding an extra place to visit with The Dowse Art Museum.

John S, via TripAdvisor about Bellbird Eatery

Bellbird Eatery flowers table counter


A wheelchair is available from the front desk for use in the gallery and there is lift access. Guide and hearing dogs are welcome.

School groups

Programmes are based around the museum's ever changing calendar of dynamic exhibitions across eleven gallery spaces. Exhibitions showcase a range of media; from painting, sculpture, jewellery, photography, fashion and ceramics to the world of digital media.

The Dowse Art Museum is LEOTC-funded with a focus on social studies/Tikanga a Iwi and the arts/Ngā Toi. Resources and programmes are designed to meet curriculum objectives for all levels, from early primary through to senior secondary students. Sessions can be tailor-made to suit the specific needs of your learners.

lagi pasefika fashion store


Shopping, art, culture, dining, pools and adventure – all together in the Lower Hutt CBD with a modernist twist. 

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