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DIRECTOR'S BLOG

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As the wind and waves have begun to calm across the South East coast, the core team are gearing for the installation of our next major exhibition openings: ‘Jerwood Collection: Revealed’; which is accompanied by an In Focus display of paintings by Alfred Wallis (1855-1942).

Jerwood Collection: Revealed is so named because it is the most extensive display of the collection to date, marking two years since the opening of Jerwood Gallery. Jerwood Gallery was specifically built to house Jerwood’s 20th century and contemporary British art collection. The collection contains nearly 250 works of art by celebrated artists from the 20th century, including Royal Academicians (RAs) such Augustus John, Lawrence Stephen Lowry, Sir Stanley Spencer. It also has a growing body of 21st century works, including works by winners of the Jerwood Painting Prize.

The origin of the Jerwood Collection is always a source of intrigue for our visitors, particularly because it has domestic roots, being the creation of Alan Grieve, the Chairman of Jerwood Foundation, and housed originally at the Foundation offices in Fitzroy Square, London. Putting any private collection into the public domain is a bold and admirable decision. This exhibition gives some lovely insights in to the passions and sensibilities of Grieve, showcasing together many of the early acquisitions and the hidden histories of these works.

For our regular visitors, this exhibition gives opportunity to see some old friends and meet new ones. Highlights will include ten sculpture maquettes by artists like Michael Ayrton (1921-1975) and Jacob Epstein (1880-1959) which have been on a long term loan to the Royal College of Physicians in London. I am personally excited to have on show at the Gallery for the first time the large painting ‘Crucifixion’ 1994, by Craigie Aitchison RA (1926-2009), which has been on loan to Hereford Cathedral and has not yet been displayed at the gallery. Aitchison won the prestigious Jerwood Painting Prize in 1994.