World Art Day - exploring favourite artworks at The New Art Gallery Walsall

Monday 15 April 2024 is World Art Day, an international celebration of artists, which is held every year on the birthday of famous artist, Leonardo da Vinci.

The day promotes the importance of art, and The New Art Gallery Walsall is marking the day with a round-up of the borough’s favourite artworks.

The Gallery boasts an impressive permanent collection of over 3,500 works, spanning centuries and artistic movements. From Victorian paintings to contemporary artworks spanning genre, the gallery offers a diverse experience for visitors.

Photo credit:   Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959), Autumn Landscape, Epping Forest, Watercolour.  

Stephen Snoddy, Director of The New Art Gallery, said, “World Art Day is an opportunity to showcase the incredible art collection we have in Walsall. Whether you're a seasoned art enthusiast or you simply want to discover something new, the gallery has something for everyone."

Top of the list of most popular artworks at the Gallery is ‘Autumn Landscape, Epping Forest’ by Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959). In this watercolour painting, Epstein captures the stunning aftermath of summer. The American born sculptor was fascinated by the woodland scenery of Epping Forest and this work was painted during the summer of 1933, when Epstein developed a passion for painting and nature. 

Another favourite is Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), who is a popular choice at the Gallery with his drawing ‘Sorrow’. This drawing forms part of the Garman Ryan Collection, which is held at the gallery. It depicts a 32-year-old woman who was pregnant at the time the artist drew her in pencil, pen and ink and the piece tells a story of pain, hardship and poverty. There are two versions of this piece in existence, one in America and the other on display here in Walsall.

'Frisky, the sculptor's dog.' is  another much loved favourite among children in Walsall’s Gallery.  Frisky was Sir Jacob Epstein’s pet dog. The playful depiction of Epstein's beloved dog resonates with children's sense of playfulness and energy.

The Gallery is also home to another beloved work of art, the "Portrait of Kitty," by famous British painter, Lucian Freud (1922-2011). Also part of the Garman Ryan Collection, it was donated to Walsall in 1973 by Kitty's mother, Kathleen Garman, and her friend Sally Ryan. The portrait offers a beautiful portrait of Kitty who was Lucian Freud’s wife.


More of the borough’s favourite artworks include:

• Amedeo Modigliani, Caryatid, c. 1913-14. Pencil and blue crayonGeorges Braque, Birds in Flight, c. 1953-55, Lithograph

• Jacob Epstein, Study of a Cat, 1920. Bronze

• Sally Ryan, The Martinique, 1934. Bronze

• Theodore Garman, Summer Garden, Harting, 1947.Oil

• Sir Jacob Epstein, Torso in Metal from The Rock Drill, 1913-1915 


The artworks above and many more from the Gallery’s varied collections are currently on display. 

For more information on the Gallery’s current exhibitions and event programme visit:  

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