Staff & Advisory Board



Christina Barton
With more than 20 years’ experience Christina Barton has a formidable reputation in New Zealand as a writer, curator and art historian. She has held positions at Auckland Art Gallery (1987-1992) and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (1992-1994) and as Senior Lecturer in Art History at Victoria University of Wellington (1995-2007). Key exhibitions she has curated include After McCahon: Some Recent Configurations in Contemporary Art (Auckland Art Gallery, 1989); Art Now: The First Biennial Review of Contemporary Art (MoNZ, 1994); Close Quarters: Contemporary Artists from Australia and New Zealand (touring Australia and NZ, 1995); Joseph Kosuth: Guests and Foreigners, Rules and Meanings (Te Kore) (Adam Art Gallery (AAG), 2000);  The Expatriates: Frances Hodgkins and Barrie Bates (AAG and Gus Fisher Gallery, 2004-5); Four Times Painting (AAG, 2007);  Hydraulics of Solids: João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva (AAG, 2008); The Subject Now (AAG, 2008); I, HERE, NOW Vivian Lynn (AAG, 2008-9); Billy Apple New York 1969-1973 (AAG, 2009) .
Art History Programme Staff Page



Stephen Cleland
Stephen is a curator and writer and has recently been Acting Curator, Contemporary Art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. His previous positions include: Director, The Physics Room, Christchurch (2010-2012), Curator, Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Auckland (2008-2010) and co-founder/ curator of the Window project at The University of Auckland (2002-2007). He has curated a number of group shows including A world undone (Auckland Art Gallery), Measure the city with the body (St Paul St Gallery, Auckland/ The Physics Room Christchurch) and Modern Physics, Unpacking My Library and Wall of Sound (Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Auckland). He recently developed the 2014 Walters Prize exhibition along with a number of books published by Auckland Art Gallery.



Andy Cummins
Exhibition Officer
Andy Cummins is the Adam Art Gallery’s technician, installation co-ordinator, and is in charge of exhibition maintenance. He also assists in the ongoing management of the Victoria University of Wellington’s art collection.



Sophie Thorn
Collection Officer
Sophie Thorn holds a masters degree in Art History and Theory from the University of Canterbury and a post grad certificate in Heritage Materials Science from Victoria University of Wellington. She has previously worked as registrar at the Wellington Museums Trust and Te Manawa Museums Trust.



Ann Gale
Gallery Administrator
Ann Gale has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Montana, Missoula. She has a background in registration and archiving with previous work experience at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis as well as assisting several leading artists based in New York City.



Laura Preston
Laura Preston, previously Curator at the Adam Art Gallery (2008-2012) has been appointed the inaugural Adam Art Gallery curator-at-large. From her base in Europe she will be working with us for one year to realise and help develop aspects of our programme and to offer on-the-spot insights into the art scenes she is encountering.
This new opportunity for the Adam to extend its reach internationally has been made possible by a grant from the Chartwell Trust. We are very grateful to the Trust for its ongoing support.



Professor Frazer Allan

Professor Frazer Allan is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) at Victoria University of Wellington. He is a 1988 Massey University veterinary science graduate. After graduation, he worked for two years in practice prior to returning to Massey at the end of 1990 to undertake a residency in companion animal medicine. During his residency he studied towards the degree of Master of Veterinary Science and he attained membership of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in 1993 by examination. Immediately after his residency, he undertook a PhD in clinical nutrition. He lectured in companion animal medicine in the latter part of the 1990s before returning to private practice for three years at the end of 2000. From 2004-9, he was Director of the Massey University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, during which time he gained a post-graduate diploma in business and administration with distinction.

Prior to his appointment at Victoria, Professor Allan was the Head of the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences at Massey University (2009-2015). During his headship, an innovative, new veterinary curriculum was rolled out and the programme was globally reaccredited, pitting it amongst the world’s elite. A programme of capital redevelopment of the Institute’s facilities was initiated, which included a successful fundraising campaign for a new wildlife hospital. The Institute also became engaged in multimillion dollar international development programmes in epidemiology, public health and veterinary education.

Professor Allan has been a board member of the New Zealand Veterinary Association since 2006 and is Chair of the Association’s Audit and Risk Committee.

Sandy Callister
Sandy Callister is a Director of the marketing strategy firm The Providence Report and is a trustee for the Wigram Foundation and World Vision New Zealand. She has previously worked for TVNZ, Saatchi and Saatchi in New York, Unilever in London, and was Managing Director of Colmar Brunton in Wellington. She holds a PhD in History from the University of Auckland, and has studied women and leadership at the Harvard Business School. Her book The Face of War: New Zealand’s Great War Photography was published by Auckland University Press in May 2008. She is currently a Research Scholar at the Stout Centre, Victoria University, researching a book on New Zealand’s Victorian family albums.

Phyllis Mossman
Phyllis Mossman is a part-time Lecturer in Art History and has had a long association with the programme. She is also an enthusiastic supporter of the gallery who has provided informal advice and support over the years. She was on TheNewDowse Friends committee for seven years (three as President) and is currently the Art Consultant for the ANZ bank and (on an as required basis) for the Wellington office of Russell McVeagh and the Reserve Bank.

Priscilla Pitts
Priscilla Pitts is General Manager Heritage Destinations for the New Zealand Historic Places Trust Pouhere Taonga. Previously she was Director of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and Otago Settlers Museum (1998-2007), the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth (1993-1998) and Artspace, Auckland (1989-1993). She is well known as a commentator on contemporary art and has served at a national level on a wide variety of visual arts panels and committees.

Kari Schmidt
Student Representative
Kari Schmidt is currently undertaking her dissertation in Art History at Victoria University. She graduated with her BA in Art History and an LLB (Hons) degree from Otago University in 2014. Her law dissertation pertained to copyright and appropriation art, and received the Loman Friedlander award for an essay on Intellectual Property in 2014.

Kari has worked as a Tour Guide and Visitor Host at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and volunteered for the Blue Oyster Project Space and Enjoy Gallery. She has also written for various publications including Critic Magazine, the Blue Oyster Yearly Review, the 2014 NEW DUNEDIN PAINTING exhibition at Brick Brothers Gallery and Salient Magazine. In 2012 she was the Editor for Gyro Magazine (the Otago Polytechnic magazine), co-organized the Dunedin zinefest and worked as a Project Manager at Audacious, a student entrepreneurship competition. She also co-edited Marrow Magazine (a zine featuring the work of local artists, writers and designers from Dunedin) from 2010-2011, In 2013 she organized an exhibition and zine launch at De Slaang in Amsterdam, and wrote the exhibition text for ‘Precise Operations’, a concrete art exhibition at Factor 44 in Brussels, featuring New Zealand, Dutch and Belgian artists.

She will be publishing an essay in the Enjoy Occasional Journal later this year and has helped established a student-run blog Up & Adam which provides critical commentary on Adam Art Gallery exhibitions and events, as well as other content.


The Adam Art Gallery relies on the work of volunteers to provide support and assistance in the administration of the gallery and in the coordination of projects and events. We are extremely grateful to our volunteers for the valuable contribution they make to gallery operations.

If you are interested in learning more about volunteering for the gallery, please visit the Volunteer Programme webpage.