Professor John Simpson’s Gift of Books

6 December 2019 – 8 March 2020

A selection of the books given to the Gallery library by Professor John Simpson.

In 2018, Professor John Simpson, former head of the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts presented a fine collection of books to the Gallery library in memory of his late wife Ming. This generous act was in addition to a gift of objects to the Gallery’s art collection. Featuring books on architecture, furniture, exploration and natural history, all are distinguished by their historical importance and – superbly engraved and beautifully bound – by their quality as books. The early Italian edition of Vitruvius is an exception: rather scruffily produced but of immense historical importance and a cornerstone of the written history of architecture. Any of these books can be consulted in the Gallery’s Robert and Barbara Stewart Library and Archives.