More people in the North to experience celebrated British art works

Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool will join Yorkshire Sculpture Park as a recipient of the Arts Council’s National Partners Fund to host and curate work from the Arts Council Collection. The £1.8 million programme marks the 70th anniversary of the Arts Council Collection.

Since being founded in 1946, the Arts Council Collection has grown to become one of the greatest collections of British art in the world and can be seen in galleries up and down the country, as well as in schools, hospitals and other public buildings.

The Collection provides important artistic support to England’s galleries, through loans, touring exhibitions and by providing support to curators. Known as the nation’s leading ‘art lending library’, the Collection celebrates British talent from the 20th century to the present day. With works from Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Lucian Freud, Mark Wallinger, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, Grayson Perry, Glenn Brown, Jeremy Deller and more, the National Partners fund enables works from the Collection to become even more publically available, while celebrating England’s world class galleries.

Sandra Penketh, Director of Art Galleries at National Museums Liverpool said: “We are absolutely delighted at the news that we will be joining the Arts Council Collection’s National Partners Programme. The Walker Art Gallery’s historic art collections are well-known, but we have also long championed modern and contemporary art, particularly through the John Moores Painting Prize which has made the Gallery its home since 1957. This grant award will enable us to increase our focus on developing a more sustainable modern and contemporary art programme, through a powerful series of exhibitions. We have been given a unique opportunity to realise our ambitions and potential in this area, and are very much looking forward to putting this funding to good use, welcoming long-standing and new visitors into the Gallery to experience what we will now be able to create as part of the National Partners Programme.”

Peter Murray CBE, Founding and Executive Director at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, said: “We have enjoyed a close working relationship with the Arts Council Collection since 2003 when they launched the Sculpture Centre at Longside. We’re delighted to extend and evolve this association with the National Partners programme and look forward to introducing our diverse audiences to the Collection through a series of innovative and engaging exhibitions.”

Also joining Yorkshire Sculpture Park as Partners, alongside Walker Art Gallery, are Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne and Birmingham Museum’s Trust.  Working closely with the Arts Council Collection team, the Partners will deliver over 20 exhibitions between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2019, to attract new audiences and engage with children and young people. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park exhibitions have already been announced – At Home (19 March – 3 July) and Transparency (25 June – 4 September) – featuring works by Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, Edward Weston, Richard Hamilton, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Christo and Sophie Calle, among others.

The Partner exhibitions will also include eight new commissions announced as part of the Collection’s 70th anniversary programme of activity, from artists including John Akomfrah, Hurvin Anderson, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Ryan Gander, Mark Leckey, Katie Paterson, Heather Phillipson and Keith Piper.

More information about the collection can be found here and you can watch the 70th Anniversary Commissions trailer here.







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