Centenary Weekend

1 August marks 100 years since Colin McCahon’s birth. To mark this occasion, the McCahon House Museum and Artist Residency have developed a series of initiatives around the country to celebrate McCahon’s legacy as an artist and teacher and more broadly the history and future of contemporary art in Aotearoa. 


Open Home Weekend

17- 18  August 

9am - 4pm 

67 Otitori Bay Road, Titirangi

Admission Free


To launch our McCahon100 centenary year we invite you to our Open Home Weekend on 17 - 18 August at his 1950’s home in French Bay. 


Paintings made by McCahon with obvious influence from the local landscape will be displayed in the house museum for the first time since their creation. 


The Artist Residency, Parehuia, ordinarily a private space for artists-in-residence, will be open for public viewing where “McCahon styIe” light refreshments - sherry and rock cakes - will be served. 


McCahon’s Auckland

During the Open Home Weekend we will debut McCahon’s Auckland; a pilot programme of bus and walking tours that frame Auckland through the eyes of one of its most famous artists. A guided bus will run regularly between Auckland Art Gallery and the Titirangi House Museum, a route traveled by McCahon over the seven years he lived in French Bay and worked in the gallery. These tours of the French Bay area will offer an art historical perspective of the forested landscape walked and painted by the artist.


McCahon’s Auckland is an initiative we are developing with the intention of making a permanent feature of the McCahon House programme.  

Bus Tours

The bus trip will take about 45 minutes each way. On board will be one of two guides:

  • Sir Bob Harvey: former mayor of Waitakere City and patron of McCahon House. Sir Bob shared the original bus commute with the artist on numerous occasions.
  • Ron Brownson: senior curator at Auckland Art Gallery, specialising in contemporary New Zealand Art. 

Booking are essential for the bus, book tickets here

French Bay Walking Tours

McCahon walked extensively through the mountainous, forested Titirangi landscape, and this landscape manifested heavily in his work during the time he lived there. Walking tours will bring this influence to life, and provide rich illustrations of the region’s social, environmental and cultural stories.


Walking tours depart the house at 10 am, 12 noon and 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday. You can register for a tour at the house. Please allow up to an hour for a full tour.


Anyone can register for a walk, whether they arrive on the bus or under their own steam.

"A Place to Paint: Colin McCahon in Auckland' will also be on at the Auckland Art Gallery. The exhibition looks at McCahon's longstanding relationship with Auckland. We especially encourage those of you catching the bus to view this show.


McCahon100 Project

In an homage to McCahon, we are reaching out to a diverse range of New Zealanders from different communities to select their favourite McCahon painting and tell us why it resonates. To accentuate the link between the past and the present, our heritage and our contemporary culture, each of our contributors will also introduce a project/artwork important to them.