This vibrant gallery in the Midlands is dedicated to preserving old gems for everyone to enjoy, as well as championing modern art movements and inspiring local people to express their inner artist
There is a rich heritage of championing arts in the city of Wolverhampton that runs side by side with its proud industrial history.
Since opening in 1884, Wolverhampton Art Gallery has provided a home for 12,000 pieces of international importance as well as local significance, spanning across 300 years.
The Grade II listed building is free to visit, meaning anyone can enjoy gazing at Peace and Plenty Binding the Arrows of War by Flemish Baroque artist Abraham Janssens, the only painting by the artist in British public collections.
But the Victorian galleries contain so much more than the work of Old Masters. The permanent displays include collections of japanned wear, enamels and ceramics, dolls and other toys, local artworks and artefacts that reveal the history of the area.
With support from the National Lottery, the gallery was expanded in 2007 to double the exhibition space and provide a dedicated home for its impressive Pop Art collection, which includes pieces by Andy Warhol, Peter Blake and David Hockney.
National Lottery funding has also enabled curators to buy a selection of works by Black British contemporary artists like Keith Piper, a movement which the gallery championed during the 1980s.
It has helped to ensure art enriches the lives of all ages more directly too, with funding in 2017 for a project called Still Lively, which saw people over 55 get creative with the support and inspiration of professional artists.
Sessions took place at retirement homes and community settings across Wolverhampton and Staffordshire, and the two-year initiative culminated in an exhibition at the gallery.
As one participant summed it up: “I go away from here feeling inspired. It makes me feel better as a person.”
For more information about Wolverhampton Art Gallery, visit the website http://www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk/
Wolverhampton Art Gallery
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