Peter McLeavey, New Zealand art dealer, Died at 79


Peter Joseph John McLeavey was born on September 21, 1936, and died on November 12, 2015.

He was a New Zealand art dealer and advocate based in Wellington.

Born in Raetihi on 21 September 1936, Peter was the son of Leslie Francis McLeavey and Elizabeth Theresa McLeavey (née McTiernan).

His father worked on the railways and his childhood was spent moving around railway settlements in New Zealand’s North Island, including Ohakune, Levin, Napier, Feilding, New Plymouth, Waitara, and Lower Hutt.

Peter credited the beginning of his interest in art to a teacher at his high school in Waitara.

Peter started dealing art in 1966, and in 1968 opened a gallery on Cuba Street in Wellington.

Jeremy Diggle, Professor of Fine Arts at Massey University, called him “the most important commercial gallerist New Zealand has ever had, effectively the pre-eminent publisher of modern New Zealand art in the past 50 years”.

The Peter McLeavey Gallery currently represents some of New Zealand’s best-known modern and contemporary artists, including Laurence Aberhart, Bill Hammond, Richard Killeen, Colin McCahon, Yvonne Todd, Robin White, Toss Woollaston, and Jeffrey Harris.

Peter passed away at age 79 in Wellington on November 12, 2015.