Te Papa museum has taken possession of valuable Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock artworks gifted by a Kiwi philanthropist couple.
The pieces were among more than $1.45 million worth of artworks and cash donated to New Zealand's national museum during Wednesday's launch of its Te Papa Foundation.
The charitable trust's chairman Alastair Carruthers hopes to raise more than $50 million over the next 10 years to fund acquisitions, education and public programmes.
This would provide a significant boost to Te Papa's current annual acquisition budget of $3 million.
"As a national museum and as the holder of the national art collection, Te Papa's mandate is broad but its acquisition budget is slight," Mr Carruthers said.
"The Te Papa Foundation will enable Te Papa to preserve more of New Zealand's history, culture and art, to take its education programmes to more students, and to share more of our stories."
Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy attended the foundation's launch alongside notable art collectors Dr Euan and Ann Sinclair and Aloysius and Eileen Teh.
The Sinclairs donated seven works, including the pieces by Dali and Warhol and a painting and drawing by Pollock worth more than $1 million.
Dr Sinclair is a US-based financial trader whose passion for modern and surrealist art was sparked by a visit to the Dunedin Public Art Gallery as a boy.
Te Papa has an annual operating budget of $60 million with around half coming from the Crown, while the museum raises the remainder through commercial activity, partnerships and donations.