Pastel artwork by contemporary female artist Pat Douthwaite is on public display for the first time at Scarborough Art Gallery, as part of a major re-organisation of its permanent and temporary collections. Every room in the museum has been redisplayed with the gallery newly rehousing and expanding its permanent collection on the first floor, and creating a more accessible space for temporary exhibitions on the ground floor.
The upstairs galleries bring together Scarborough Art Gallery’s celebrated fine art collection including John Atkinson Grimshaw, Robert Ernest Roe and Henrietta Rae. Each area of the first floor rehang has been themed with popular threads of the collection such as Seascapes, Portraits and People and Places. A wider selection of more contemporary works has also been filtered throughout the galleries. It marks the first time on public display for Whitby, 1990 by the Glaswegian artist Pat Douthwaite (1934-2002).
Recently acquired portraits of local figures, Cant Candler and George Nesfield – owner of the Nesfield Brewery that once stood on King Street, are exhibited alongside key artworks that have been brought out of storage: Thomas Gainsborough’s portrait of Richard Darley; Scarborough Castle (A Matchment) – the oldest oil painting in the permanent collection, and John Atkinson Grimshaw’s Yew Court.
An accessible space for temporary exhibitions has been created on the ground floor, with two galleries acting as flexible spaces. These are situated alongside The Laughton Gallery, a space dedicated to celebrated Scarborough hotelier Tom Laughton’s diverse private collection featuring pieces by Bruce Turner, Edward Bawden, Eric Ravilious, Dame Ethel Walker and John Armstrong.
Jennifer Dunne, Collections Manager at Scarborough Museums Trust, said,
“Carrying out a rehang of every room in the Art Gallery has been a hugely ambitious task, but we’re delighted with the outcome. We’ve re-themed our permanent collection so that the public’s favourite pieces can be seen afresh – and great efforts have been made to display a wider range of more contemporary works, including paintings that have not been displayed for many years and recently acquired pieces which can be viewed for the first time.
We have more flexibility with our ground-floor galleries and we’re looking forward to the opportunities this presents for our temporary exhibitions where we display work by local, national and internationally renowned artists, as well as interesting touring work from around the UK. We’ve just unveiled the fruits of our hard work – and hope our visitors enjoy our newly laid-out spaces.”