Permanent John Piper exhibition opens after crowdfunding campaign
A new gallery opened this week (December 14th) celebrating the art of John Piper. River and Rowing Museum opened it’s John Piper gallery in his hometown of Henley-on-Thames, which shows the breadth of his career, reports Culture24.
John Piper was a painter and printmaker who enjoyed a long and interesting career that saw him try many different mediums and even work as an Official War artist during World War Two. The new exhibition describes him as a “Very British artist” but, in actual fact, he was an artist who refused to be identified by a single technique, movement or creative style.
Eloise Chapman, the head of collections and exhibitions at the River and Rowing Museum, told the news provider that Piper “followed his own creative path, and constantly explored new ways of working. It is truly exciting to be opening a permanent gallery that will allow us to show the extraordinary diversity of this work.”
The works on show feature an array of different styles and inspirations, from Modernist abstraction to Neo-Romanticism, with plenty of landscapes, abstracts, pottery, glass, theatre designs and written pieces also being included.
Designed to give a true insight into the life of Piper, the exhibition includes pieces from private collections that were previously unseen, as well as loans from a number of collections, including Tate, the arts Council and V&A. Other pieces have been donated by Piper’s family, allowing visitors to truly appreciate his incredible talents.
Some of the most exciting pieces being included in the show are the set model for the 1947 production of ‘The Rape of Lucretia’, which is on loan from the V&A, and Brittany Beach with Lighthouse, which is an unusual abstract collage that has been loaned to the exhibition by a private collector.
River and Rowing Museum has previously hosted several temporary John Piper exhibitions that were very well received. This latest show will allow for other temporary exhibitions to take place that will explore the works of artists from the 20th Century.
The permanent Piper exhibition was made possible through crowdfunding, with a campaign launched earlier this year through the Art Fund’s digital platform Art Happens. In the end, it raised 118 per cent of the required target, with 170 people donating toward the cause.
Jessica Piper, the great granddaughter of john Piper, told the news provider that her family was “extremely proud and honoured that the local community has supported the River & Rowing Museum’s vision and my great grandfather’s work in this way.
“He would have been delighted to have a gallery dedicated to his work in Henley, his local town for nearly 60 years. We simply cannot express how thankful and excited we are about the new John Piper gallery. Thank you to everyone who donated.”