23/05/2009 — 11/07/2009
The good and the bad or the
loved and the unloved
This is the second instalment of an exhibition that brings together a diverse range of objects from Grundy’s permanent collection, placing works of disparate qualities within the same show. It highlights the complexities of the collection, which ranges from Victorian painting to Japanese ivory, and gifts from the Contemporary Art Society to gifts from the Blackpool Art Society.
Grundy’s collection preceded the building of its gallery spaces. In 1908 Blackpool Council received a bequest of thirty-three artworks from brothers John and Cuthbert Grundy on the condition that a gallery be built to house it. The gallery opened in 1911. A purchase fund for new artworks was set up in 1912, and the collection now contains close to two thousand objects.
The collection was originally built through the efforts of Council dignitaries and the generosity of individuals. The lack of an acquisitions policy until relatively recently meant that the collection grew organically rather than strategically and it contains an eclectic mix of objects, which include works by amateur artists, as well as works of recognised historical importance.
By bringing the objects together in this way, the exhibition disregards the orthodox curatorial values of the collection and instead presents a platform upon which to allow its viewers an opportunity to determine their own values on the works on show.