Pallant House Gallery
5 reviews of Pallant House Gallery in English
The Pallant is a gem, and contains some wonderful mainly British art, beautifully displayed in the original Georgian house and a not entirely sympathetic extension. If you missed Frida Kahlo you missed a belter. As a previous qyper said, like a small Tate Britain in the middle of Chichester, and it’s free on Thursday nights from (I think) about 5.00pm. Take your partner, and zip into Trent’s for a glass of wine. You can’t go wrong….
This is a treasure house, and better, in my view, than the Tate St Ives, as a gallery. There is modern wing, with changing exhibitions, of a manageable size. The Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera – now sadly ended – was a triumph. Next up is likely to be equally wonderful – Edward Burra. There is also a bookshop, a print room, a room for temporary displays from the main collections, and a restaurant (see Field and Fork review). Next door is Pallant House itself, an Georgian house that started it all. This now houses an eclectic variety of work sampled from the many bequest collections that the gallery owns. St Ives and Bloomsbury are well represented. The house itself is lovely too, and there is quite a bit of furniture. This is an underrated trove that is worth a trip to explore.
Quietly situated on the South side of the main shopping area, this gallery offers excellent viewing of some very fine art work. Previous repirts from Qypers will indicate the extremely high standard displayed here. At present, tere is a fine exhibition by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Masterpieces from The Gelman Collection. Trot along if you’re in the area.
I’d been looking forward to my visit to the prestigious Gulbenkian award-winning (2007) Pallant House, for a long while. Arriving at the elegant exterior, mid-way down a charming characterful street, I wasn’t disappointed at my first view.
Armed with my floor plan, I went upstairs, starting in the historic collections. One of the most impressive sights, in the first room, was the gilded bronze bust of Charles I, created by Hubert le Sueur, in 1637. As I progressed through the rooms, I was intrigued to notice chic leather chairs with strategically placed pine cones (not for artistic reasons but to prevent the temptation for visitors to rest on them).
Moving out of the historic collections, I came upon the striking original (walnut?) staircase, contrastingly complemented by Nina Saunders amazing velvet fabric creations. I had to smile when I noticed her limited edition (of 50) velvet dustpan: Mr William Morris’ Pan for the Application of Utilitarian Cleaning available to order, for the sum of £360. I also loved Susie MacMurray’s highly inventive After 'Shell’ with mussel shells and deep red velvet dramatically combining to form unusual but exquisite tulips.
Speaking with the empassioned guides, I learnt that much of the collection had been donated by Walter Hussey, former Dean of Chichester Cathedral, in 1981, on condition that it be made available for public view. Charles Kearley’s remarkable bequest (1988) contributes the mainstay of prominent European masterpieces in the collection.
The highlights for me, were varied and many, including: Antony Gormley’s simple elegant, stunning mild steel rod sculpture Trajectory Field III (2002, on loan); Richard Hamilton’s Swingeing London (sic), a 1967 piece depicting the hand-cuffed Mick Jagger and Robert Fraser as they were driven away after a drugs raid; Eileen Agar’s simply beautiful Italian Girl (1927); Julian Trevelyan’s Absentee Pig (1943); George Bracque’s stunning, vivid blue The Bird (1949); Salvador Dali’s hot-hued Hawaii Suite II (1973).
I loved the temporary Lee Miller and Friends exhibit (runs until 29th March '09) packed with wonderfully evocative and iconic photography (taken mostly in the 1940s and '50s), including everyday moments shared with Pablo Picasso and his family and Jean Cocteau.
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