Going Public: The Kirkland Collection
- , 2017
Contemporary art comes out of its private collections and into the gallery.Visit site
In 2015, a string of exhibitions brought contemporary art out of private collections and into Sheffield's galleries and Cathedral. Called Going Public, the project shared great and, in some cases, rarely exhibited contemporary art with everyone: visitors, residents, congregations. The project returns this autumn for another exhibition – this time showcasing work held in Jack Kirkland’s personal collection in the Graves Gallery.
As well as bringing great art to the city, Going Public also asks a lot of questions about the role and the future of philanthropy in the arts. At the start of the project we spoke to Kirstie Hamilton, Museums Sheffield's head of exhibitions, who told us that, while philanthropic giving can and should never take the place of state funding, Going Public is "all about having a debate around how we strengthen that relationship between private collectors and the public. Is it the future? What are the options for the north? How does a city like Sheffield, which is really showing its aspiration and ambition, compete, when a collector's knowledge of the UK is of London?"
Arts philanthropy isn't a new concept to Sheffield. Look back along Weston Park Museum and Graves Gallery's timelines and you'll meet two big names in benevolence: called the Mappin Gallery when it opened in 1887, the former housed work bequeathed to the city by local brewer John Mappin, while the latter was built with money – and filled with artworks – given by mail-order pioneer J.G. Graves in the 1930s. As Kirstie said: "Sheffield is a city with a massive heritage in this area – but where is that culture of philanthropy now? It’s easy for policy-makers to say that we need to turn to philanthropy. But unless you actually encourage the philanthropists to turn to us, where's the motivation?"
Look forward to seeing work by some of the most important artists of the past 75 years when Jack Kirkland brings his collection highlights to the beautiful Graves Gallery – including Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Josef Albers, Anni Albers, Bridget Riley, Lewis Baltz and more.
Image: Bridget Riley, Red Overture (2012) © Bridget Riley 2017.