The Victoria Art Gallery has secured grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Art Fund and Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery to buy the fascinating work Posh Art (1992) by popular Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry, and deliver a programme of activities and events based on its themes.
The purchase has been made possible thanks to support from a wide variety of stakeholders: a National Lottery grant of £46,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, a grant of £19,000 from Art Fund, £7,500 from the Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery, and many individual donations from the public have helped bring the urn to Bath. The pot itself cost £75,000, meaning that nearly all of the cost was met by grant-aid and public subscription.
Following on from the huge success of Grayson Perry’s exhibition The Vanity of Small Differences in 2016, the Gallery was keen to add a ceramic artwork by the artist to its permanent collection. Posh Art was carefully chosen as the ideal work for the Gallery, as its classical urn shape relates to Bath’s famous architecture. The title of the piece, which dates from 1992, refers to taste and class, as do the images with which it is decorated.
An exciting programme of events and activities has been devised to complement Posh Art. Designed to widen the Gallery’s audience for contemporary art and to intrigue, inspire and educate a wide range of people, the programme includes bespoke activities for people with learning difficulties and young carers.
Councillor Paul Myers, (Conservative, Midsomer Norton Redfield), Cabinet Member for Economic and Community Regeneration, said: “We are delighted to add this humorous and appealing work to our collection and are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Art Fund and the Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery. Their generous support makes it possible for us to add it to the public collection.”
The Chairman of the Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery, Dr. Michael Rowe, said: “We are delighted to see this quirky and amusing item added to the Gallery’s collection. It fits well alongside the existing ceramics collection and will be appreciated and enjoyed by a wide range of visitors.”
Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “Money raised by National Lottery players has enabled Grayson Perry’s Posh Art to be added to the public collection. As well as enjoying the work for free, people of all ages will be able to explore its themes in an exciting programme of events.”
Stephen Deuchar, Director, Art Fund, said: “Art Fund has been delighted to support the Victoria Art Gallery’s acquisition and display of works by Grayson Perry on a number of occasions in the past – and we’re delighted now to be helping them acquire the latest in the line, Posh Art, an early work by Perry that resonates strongly with Bath’s distinctive architecture and culture. We're sure it will be a huge hit with visitors from the city and beyond.”
Posh Art is now on display at the Victoria Art Gallery, where it can be seen for free in the first floor galleries.