Webb's is currently held as an asset for sale. Please refer to NZX Announcements here.
Peter Webb Galleries Limited (trading as “Webb’s”) was founded by Mr. Peter Webb whose contribution to the development of the contemporary art market in New Zealand was extensive. In the early 1950s, Mr. Webb held a position as exhibitions officer at the Auckland Art Gallery under its first director Eric Westbrook. In 1958, Mr. Webb started one of New Zealand’s first dealer galleries opening with Colin McCahon’s first Auckland exhibition, paintings of French Bay.
Mr Webb was the founding director of auction house John Cordy Limited in 1963 and resigned to take up the post of Exhibitions Officer at the Auckland Art Gallery for the period 1970 to 1974, during which time he arranged the largetst exhibition of John Constable’s paintings ever held outside of Great Britain, "John Constable, The Natural Painter".
Unwilling to complete a bachelor degree, Mr. Webb departed the world of academia to launch the Barrington Gallery for its owners in 1975 bringing three major exhibitions to Auckland from New York: Jim Dine, Works on Paper; Photo-Realism; and Picasso’s 66 etchings for La Celine. With the demise of funding for the Barrington Gallery, he opened his own gallery in High Street in 1974 and, with the late Ross Fraser as editor, he launched the quarterly art magazine, Art New Zealand.
He introduced a regular programme of New Zealand art auctions and these very successful sales gradually brought about a conversion of the gallery into a fine art auction company. In 1980, during one of the gallery’s last major shows, Colin McCahon’s New Paintings, he met Ann Webb who joined the company that year and whom, in 1990, he married. With Ann, he built the business that would become the country’s foremost specialist auction house.
In 2003, NZX listed company Mowbray Collectables Limited purchased a percentage stake in Webb's and subsequently increased its stake to 49.44%.
In October 2013, Peter and Ann Webb sold the 50.66% controlling interest in Webb's to Mowbray Collectables Limited.
Webb’s has now entered a new era as a subsidiary of an NZX listed company, but the legacy the Webb’s family and the brand they have created continues to live on.
The Webb's brand remains synonymous with quality and integrity. These values built over many years, continue to this day and will into the future.
You can find out more about Webb’s and the services this long established auction house offers at: www.webbs.co.nz