Co-owner Reuben Price recently told me that the business will not in fact be re-opening at all and the ordering functionality had been removed from their website. The official closure date was 31 March 2018.
Gallery Prints promised to stock "Fine Art Prints from New Zealand's finest Museums and Art Galleries" and they had partnerships in place with Te Papa, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland War Memorial Museum and the National Library of New Zealand where prints could be ordered in store via a kiosk or online via a shopping link from the gallery/museum website.
They had a good selection of prints from some great NZ artists such as Robin White and Rita Angus, together with Ralph Hotere, Colin McCahon and Gordon Walters images that were available due to the gallery having purchased the copyright to reproduce images along with the original paintings. Gallery Prints also had a rather eclectic range of botanical and historical material from their partners which might not have been hot sellers but it was good to see a distribution channel for less mainstream images.
It was an impressive effort to co-ordinate a business model like this and here at NZ Fine Prints we were excited to see an example of our nationally or locally owned galleries working with the private sector to promote the artistic heritage of Aoteaora to people interested in buying prints.
Shame to see it didn't work out, hopefully some lessons can be learned as it seems to make sense to marry the possibilities of short run digital printing with the wealth of our shared cultural resources held in NZ's museums and galleries in some form of public/private partnership.