Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre, New Plymouth

#1 of 6 in Shopping in New Plymouth
Art Gallery · Shopping
The Govett Brewster Art Gallery is New Zealand’s museum of contemporary art.

The latest addition to the Govett-Brewster – the Len Lye Centre – is New Zealand’s first institution dedicated to a single artist, the pioneering filmmaker and kinetic sculptor, Len Lye.

With its curved exterior walls of mirror-like stainless steel, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre is the country’s first example of destination architecture linked to contemporary art and is one of the country’s most iconic buildings.

Experience innovative and provocative work by New Zealand and international artists, an ever-changing exhibition programme, talks about the art, tours and art making.

The 62-seat Len Lye Centre Cinema is a welcoming environment for audiences to experience Len Lye’s films, experimental, arthouse and cult films, and regular film festival programming. Tickets are available online or at the Govett-Brewster Shop.

For something a little different, the Govett-Brewster Shop is not your usual tat. Contemporary design and objects of inspiration, jewellery, Len Lye and Govett-Brewster merchandise, books, gift cards, cool kids' stuff and limited edition collaborations mean you’ll definitely need to add extra time to your visit.

Monica’s Eatery, next door to the Govett-Brewster, is an international art cafe inspired by the life and spirit of Monica Brewster, a globetrotter even before the golden age of air travel and founding patron of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. Open seven days for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for New Plymouth using our trip planner.
Improve this listing »
Create an itinerary including Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
819 reviews
  • We came to visit this gallery during our stay in New Plymouth and loved the art works. Found out a bit more about Len Lye and got a treat as well to see the special Maori exhibition in town that was.....  more »
  • Loved the atmosphere at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre. What a treat to be able to watch the Len lye display and see each pice in motion. There were not a lot of people so you could...  more »
  • Such an original and stunning building! Take time to explore the architecture inside and out. On our visit, we were only able to access the Len Lye exhibits. They are intriguing in novelty...  more »
  • Travelled up from Wellington to see this gallery and the Len Lye works. From the outside it is fantastic. Inside it was a disappointment. I had expected to see more than just the 3 Lye sculptures on display. The staff were very helpful and friendly but to come all the way from Wellington and stay the night just to see 3 pieces and pay $15 felt like a rip off. The rest of the gallery was taken up with another artist from Korea who had a load of Venetian blinds, chairs and some odd fluffy stuff for which there was no explanation. How about putting a few more of the Len Lye works into it. After all it is the Len Lye centre.
  • Too confusing. Worst wayfaring signage in a public building I have ever experienced. You can see it all in 10 minutes. More staff than visitors. No way it's worth $15 pp. One to miss.
  • We really enjoyed this gallery. The len lye exhibition was fascinating. Staff are friendly and helpful in providing information on the works. The $15 tickets last for 24hours so it's possible to visit the gallery over two days.
  • The centre is a magnificent building made of polished stainless steel which is blinded several people over the years apparently. Inside we were exposed to several exhibitions but the highlights is clearly the kinetic art of Len Lye. For those of you Philistines not familiar with jargon of the art world I will simplify. Len lye it seems was famous for inventing the wobbly stick. We saw several wobbly sticks in turn, each in the dark with a Spotlight turned on them to highlight the drama of a wobbly stick. Then in another room we saw a whole collection of wobbly sticks wobbling at the same time. This was also very noisy, but despite the risk we stuck it out to have the full experience of wobbly sticks dancing together. The noise was much like the sound of cutting concrete, which we had heard on the trip to the gallery, but the wobbly sticks made it an artistic noise. The logical extension to this is now on the seafront where there is a large bending stick with a ball on top, called the wind wand. It bends in the wind which seems to please the greater artistic community greatly. Next we saw an exhibition of chairs arranged meaningfully. These were chairs from important people in the Taranaki community. We were able to sit in some of the chairs as an artistic experience and read about the people who originally owned the chairs. Then they had a speaker making a series of seemingly unconnected statements. This was very deep and meaningful.
  • I love the Len lye exhibitions and displays of other artists work. The staff are helpful, knowledgeable but unobtrusive unless approached.

Plan your trip to New Plymouth

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.