Image: James Stephanoff, Viewing at Dulwich Picture Gallery, c. 1830, watercolour, © By permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery

An early illustration of visitors to Dulwich Picture Gallery along with a visitor book bearing the signatures of Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf forms part of a new display celebrating 200 years since the Gallery first opened its doors in 1817.

‘The First Visitors’ is the first in an exciting line-up of public events and exhibitions during the Gallery’s bicentenary year, and draws from Dulwich’s own archives to explore what people would have seen and experienced on visiting the Gallery for the first time in the early 19th century.

The display will include the first Gallery handbook which preserves the initial rules and guidelines concerning the administration of the Gallery and visitor book from 1908 which includes the signatures of Vanessa and Clive Bell and Virginia Woolf.

James Stephanoff’s watercolour, The Viewing at Dulwich Picture Gallery will take centre stage, showing the Gallery’s spectacular enfilade as it would have been in the 1830s.

The watercolour is likely to have been made soon after the Gallery’s architect, Sir John Soane, had the walls repainted in the distinctive ‘Soane Red’.

The display will also look back at some of the Gallery’s famous first visitors with quotes by notable artists, writers and critics displayed next to works throughout the permanent collection.

Contemporary visitors will be encouraged to enter their own interpretations of works via an iPad, a selection of which will be displayed in the Gallery at the end of the year.

The bicentenary celebrations continue throughout the year with the Gallery’s first ‘Dulwich Pavilion’ opening on 1st June to coincide with the start of the London Festival of Architecture.

The pavilion, which has been designed by emerging architecture practice, IF_DO, will host a vibrant programme of public events including Friday and Sunday Lates throughout the summer.

Following on from Vanessa Bell, the major exhibition programme continues in June with a fresh look at the watercolours of the American artist, John Singer Sargent. This will be followed in October with the first UK retrospective of the renowned artist and illustrator, Tove Jansson.

Listings Info:
The Private Made Public: The First Visitors
14 March – 4 June 2017

£8* Adult
£7* Senior Citizens
FREE Unemployed, disabled, students, under 18s, Friends
*Ticket prices include a voluntary Gift Aid donation

Dulwich Picture Gallery
200 years of visitors:
In 2017 Dulwich Picture Gallery will celebrate 200 years since it first opened its doors to the public in 1817. The Gallery will be marking the celebrations in June with the opening of the first Dulwich Pavilion in partnership with the London Festival of Architecture as well as a special programme of events and displays throughout the year. (Source: Dulwich Picture Gallery press release)

London  Mozart Players – based at St John’s church in Upper Norwood – are one of the first two groups to benefit from a new council fund.
Launched last year, the Cultural Partnership Fund invited arts organisations to apply for up to 50 per cent of their costs for a project up to a maximum of £10,000.

A Croydon council spokeswoman explained: “The cash is released once they have secured match funding from another source. “This pledge puts them in a much stronger position to secure external funding.

“It has enabled both the LMP and the Croydonites Festival of New Theatre – which also received the award – to secure match funding from Arts Council England.”

Croydon say the award – set up to expand Croydon’s cultural scene by helping arts and cultural projects attract major investment – could see local arts organisations benefiting from major investment from national organisations, helping them to launch new projects and events.

Cllr Timothy Godfrey, Croydon’s cabinet member for culture, said:“The Cultural Partnership Fund is going to make a real difference to the arts in our borough.

“We have some fantastic and diverse community arts groups here in Croydon and we are giving them grants which they can use as leverage to secure funding from national organisations like Heritage Lottery and Arts Council England, resulting in major investment into Croydon’s cultural offer for residents and tourists.

“We pledged to be ambitious for culture. “We are now delivering.

“Innovative projects like this, along with our investment in the new Fairfield Halls, will help us to grow and expand Croydon’s nightlife, putting Croydon back on the map for live music, theatre and art.”

Julia Desbruslais, executive director of LMP, said: “We will use the funding for LMP on the Move, a series of five concerts across Croydon from April to June 2017, taking classical music to new and existing audiences whilst Fairfield Halls is closed for refurbishment.

“Venues will include Box Park, Matthew’s Yard, Wandle Park, Braithwaite Hall and the Roof Top Cinema. “The tour will finish at LMP’s new home at St John the Evangelist in Upper Norwood on June 18th, during the Crystal Palace Overground Festival.”

LMP on the Move is in partnership with Croydon Music Hub and will feature young musicians from across the borough performing alongside the LMP.  Arts Council England are the main funder with vital partnership income coming from the CPF and from local businesses, Regent Land and Centronic. For more information visit http://www.lmp.org.

Meanwhile the Croydonites Festival of New Theatre, which took place previously in 2015, will return to Croydon on a much larger scale this Spring. Croydonites is a festival of new theatre and performance for Croydon. It showcases the work of artists from around the UK, specifically providing a platform for Croydon based theatre makers. The second edition of Croydonites Festival of New Theatre will present six works over three weeks between 16 March and 1 April 2017.

Croydon’s CPF has £100,000 available for arts organisations to bid for. For more information or to apply please visit the CPF page on the council website. CPF will accept completed applications to another funder with just a cover sheet to Croydon, reducing the amount of time applicants have to spend writing bids. (Source: Croydon council press release)

An artist whose work has featured in the Saatchi gallery has added her signature neon flourish to Croydon’s Surrey Street.
Lauren Baker’s quotation design has been installed on Surrey Street footbridge. The quote, which appears handwritten and reads ‘A simple hello could lead to a million things’, aims to bring a positive message to the area while providing a fun, alternative way to light under the pedestrian bridge.

The neon sign is the first of a series of public art pieces to be installed on Surrey Street and comes after the council, and the architects working on proposals for Surrey Street, Sam Jacob Studio, partnered with Rise Gallery on the project, who identified the artist and her proposed design.

The installation is part of the council’s £1.1m renovation of the 700-year-old Surrey Street market, which aims to enhance its environment through a number of improvements, including the installation of more public art and lighting, making the carriageway level and altering the market’s design to make it more pedestrian-friendly, creating a vibrant, flexible market space.

Cllr Mark Watson, cabinet member for economy and jobs, said: “The new piece of street art is the first in a series of a public art installations that will be help Surrey Street become a truly vibrant and diverse space.

“There are many improvements planned for Surrey Street market and we are keen to hear the public’s views.”

If you would like to share your views, please email Cllr Watson directly at mark.watson@croydon.gov.uk (Source: Croydon council press release)


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