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We Saw Walsall

To round off our break, before a busy week we decided to go to another exhibition, setting off we thought we were probably going to end up at MIMA, however we instead ended up at The New Art Gallery Walsall. I confess to knowing not very much about this place, other than the football team play at the Bescot Stadium (although I think it has a sponsorship name now) and that the town is famous for leather, I know that because the football team are known as The Saddlers. Please forgive me my ignorance in all other matters relating to the town. 

We also didn't really know anything about the gallery, other than the two temporary exhibitions we went to see. So we were blown away with what we discovered,


gallery exterior
We went for a curator talk about the Eva Rothschild to see DivineOliver Jones, what I was ignorant of was the huuuge amount of Jacob Epstein works on display *squeeeeeak*. The Garman-Ryan collection was formed by Jacob Epstein's widow, Kathleen Garman and their friend Sally Ryan and donated to the people of Walsall as Kathleen was from Wednesbury. Tate are currently in partnership with the collection and 16 works from Tate are currently featured in with the permanent collection. So if you like Picasso, Gainsborough, Degas, Modigliani, Lucian Freud, Bernard Leach or John Constable there will certainly be something there for you!

As you might know by now, I don't like taking pictures of the artworks, but look how amazing the gallery is! It is a fabulous use of space, not too much is revealed as you move between rooms, it's a tall but fairly compact building, lots of stairs but you can hear Noddy Holder* speaking to you if you choose to take the lift.



And as if all this wasn't enough, there were lots of Diwali celebrations taking place, we missed a fair bit of it due to hearing the talk but we did get to see some dancing in the foyer.



Anyone fortunate to live closer to this place than we do (it's ust over two hours in the car from here) should thank their lucky stars to have such a fantastic, free resource available to them. We'll be back next year. 

Should you be so inclined, here's a video from Bob and Roberta Smith in and around the gallery 




*sorry, couldn't resist

Comments

  1. I would greatly enjoy that museum. I would happily spend hours observing but rarely am alone.

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    1. It's a wonderful place, and I was happy to see it so full of life with lots of children bodding around (albeit some of them were just looking for the pictures of naked ladies!).

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  2. A place I have never been but it is certainly worth remembering the next time we are in the Midlands. The building looks impressive.

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    1. It is fabulous, an amazing collection for the people of the town to be proud of, well worth a visit. Only a very short walk from the train station and lots of parking too.

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  3. You may be unaware that sadly there is a chance the art gallery and museum could be closed down, along with nearly all the libraries in Walsall borough, as the council are in dire straits financially.

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    1. Thank you your comment. Yes, I am aware of the potential closure. We've recently gone through the same process in my area and it's devastating. I hope the gallery can find a way to become self sustaining, we will be doing what we can.

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  4. My home town! The Art Gallery is brilliant, something us Walsall folks are immensely proud of (along with Noddy).
    The New Art Gallery along with the leather museum and 16 of our libraries are under threat of closure. If you're on Facebook please have a look at the Save the art Gllary page and sign if you can. https://www.facebook.com/Petition-To-Halt-Closure-Of-The-New-Art-Gallery-Walsall-1809055692712364/?notif_t=page_name_change_admin&notif_id=1478122316965110

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    1. Thanks for the link, I have signed. The axe has fallen on our libraries and museums already and it's awful, it would be a crying shame for Walsall to lose such an amazing gallery, let alone the libraries.

      You are right to be proud, I was overwhelmed by it, a place to be cherished.

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    2. Thank you so much. To say we're worried is an understatement. We've got back from a protest outside the Leather Museum, I sincerely hope it will still be there the next time you visit Walsall. xxx

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    3. I wish you all well and hope you don't lose these important pieces of your heritage.

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  5. Walsall. Famous for being the home of the blogging queen Vintage Vixen and her spousal unit John.

    You'd have known her if you'd spotted her. Go on, check out her blog. She's fun and down to earth and always willing to meet another blogger!

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    1. Hello, thanks for dropping by. I am already a big fan of Vix and of course should have mentioned her in the same breath as Walsall!

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