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The Captain: Exploring images of James Cook

In 1769, James Cook, lieutenant in command of the HM Bark Endeavour, (re) discovered, circumnavigated and mapped the coast of Aotearoa New Zealand.

TaurangaArt Gallery has developed an exhibition titled The Captain to commemorate the 240th anniversary of his arrival and to celebrate and explore the way in which we as a nation have memorialised, and continue to remember, James Cook.

The exhibition draws on historical and contemporary art plus images of Cook in educational resources, stamps, coins and kiwiana. Statues and early paintings of Cook position him as the ‘hero explorer in the Age of Enlightenment’.



More recent depictions in a variety of media, explore Cook the man, and some of the difficulties encountered in his journeys to the Southern Hemisphere.

Cook is remembered through parts of the landscape he named, statues and memorials in New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific and Britain.


With support from:

Copy Corner, Mills Reef Winery, Wigram Brewing Company Ltd, Sunrise Estate, Tauranga Numismatic Society, Thames and Hudson publishers (UK) and the New Zealand Company of Master Mariners (Tauranga Branch)










Principal Funder

Annual Strategic Partners