To reverse the closure of Norwich Castle’s Timothy Gurney Gallery to contemporary art exhibition sign now

We are distressed that the Timothy Gurney Gallery in the Castle Museum is set for a major ‘change of use’, and will no longer be available for showing contemporary art exhibitions. This short-term solution to funding cuts involves moving children’s educational projects out of their current home in the next-door Auditorium and into the (newly carpeted) gallery thus generating money by letting out the auditorium for conferences.

We call on Rachel Kirk, the Norwich Museums’ manager and Vanessa Trevelyan, head of Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service, urgently to reconsider both the business case and the social impact of this gallery closure. To have the Castle’s contemporary art collection largely in storage is not in your public’s interest and it will reduce the likelihood of future donations. It will also damage invaluable links to Tate and other national galleries with whom works and exhibitions are exchanged.

Norwich, unusually among major UK cities, does not have a dedicated civic art gallery with a permanent display of contemporary art. Thanks to his family, however, we do have the Timothy Gurney Gallery, upstairs in the Castle Museum. The inscription in the gallery states that it is “to the inspiration of living artists and practitioners”, and as David Mawson, the Vice President of Friends of the Norwich Museums said only this month, “the gallery was donated with the express intention ‘to inspire young artists’, which continues to this day.”

The gallery has consistently shown works from young artists and from the Castle’s contemporary collection, which includes works that have been loaned or gifted to the Castle over more than 50 years by the Norfolk Contemporary Art Society and many other charitable bodies. We want to see this collection continue to be as visible as possible, as a vital part of Norwich’s heritage.

Keith Roberts, Chair, Norfolk Contemporary Art Society
Martin Battye, Chair, Norwich 20 Group
Amanda Geitner, Head of Exhibitions, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Ian Collins, art critic, Eastern Daily Press
Jacques Rogers, Chair, Outpost Gallery, Norwich

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noto veronicaBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
Friends of contemporary art, norwich citizens, art lovers everywhere, Norwich City Councilors,

Petition community:
Norfolk Contemporary Art Society, Norwich 20 Group, Outpost Gallery, concerned individuals

Tags

castle museum, closure, contemporary art, norwich, timothy gurney

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