26/09/2009 — 7/11/2009

The good and the bad or the

loved and the unloved

part 3

Emilio Tafani, 'Demonstration Dissection', c. 1945

oil on canvas

This is the third and final 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 created a year later, 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; included are works by Peter Blake, T. S. Cooper, Jules Adolphe Goupil, Peter Liversidge, Victor Pasmore, Picasso, Eric Ravilious, Lindsay Seers, and Julian Trevelyan.

There is no predetermined curatorial thread to the exhibition other than to group together a variety of objects from the collection. Captions, which present further information about the artists and subjects, other than those attached directly to the objects, have been excluded.  There is no supporting context to the artist and the work, only the physical qualities of the objects.