The Grade I Listed Pallant House Gallery now has a state of the art gallery extension. © Pallant House Gallery
24 Hour Museum continues its alphabetical roundup of the museums on this year's longlist for the Gulbenkian Prize with a look at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester.
Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, West Sussex has been long-listed for the Gulbenkian Prize for its £8.6 million building and refurbishment project, completed in July 2006.
The Grade 1 listed Queen Anne town house has been extended to include a contemporary wing of the gallery and the venture posed quite a challenge, with planning permission needing to be secured to work within the densely built conservation area in the historic cathedral city.
The sympathetic extension was designed by Long and Kentish architects, with the help of Professor Sir Colin St. John Wilson who also donated his personal collection of Modern art to be housed within the new wing. Contributions from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Chichester District Council and Arts Council England further helped to fund the developments.
Pallant House Director Stefan van Raay during the Gallery re-fit in 2006. © Pallant House Gallery
The final construction offers a sympathetic dialogue between the historic house and the modern extension. Light and airy, with plenty of exhibiting space, the new building features large rooms and a modern staircase giving the Gallery a stylish minimalist feel.
Pallant House Gallery is also the first gallery in the UK to have a geothermal ‘green’ heating and cooling system whilst a new courtyard has been designed by Christopher Bradley-Hole. Other new developments within the building include an art reference library, an education studio, lecture room, restaurant and bookshop.
The Gallery puts modern British art at the core of its collection. When it first opened in 1982 it was with the help of an original bequest of over 100 paintings and drawings from Walter Hussey, the Dean of Chichester Cathedral. In the intervening years the collection grew to such a grand number that only 30% could be put on display at any one time.
Now 17 galleries allow the collections, temporary exhibitions and education and outreach programmes to be shown to their best adavantage.
The Gallery features one of the best collections of modern British art in the world. David Bomberg's Last Self Portrait (1956) © Pallant House Gallery.
The current display of the collection feature important pieces from Andrews, Auerbach, Blake, Caulfield, Freud, Hamilton, Moore, Paolozzi, Piper and Sutherland. Subject matter varies from Post-Impressionism to the Impact of World War Two, to International Modernism to British Pop Art and Prints, to but a few.
The extended gallery now holds one of the best collections of modern British art in the world. It was given a £1.5 million endowment fund to contribute towards future running cost in 2006.
As an independent charitable trust, Pallant House depends upon support from dedicated individuals, companies and grant-makers whilst the running of the gallery and development of the collection all depend upon funds raised. Friends of Pallant House are a contributory support group who help finance special projects and mount exhibitions.
Should Pallant House win the 2007 Gulbenkian Prize? Go to the 24 Hour Museum's vote page to vote for Pallant House or any of the other longlisted museums in the 24 Hour Museum's Gulbenkian 2007 People's Vote.