This spring, Kirkby Gallery presents the work of world-renowned artists including Cézanne (1839–1906), Degas (1834 – 1917), and Renoir (1841–1919).
From 27 April – 11 July 2020 visitors have the opportunity to see artworks from the collections of two internationally recognised art institutions for free in the gallery’s most ambitious exhibition to date.
The National Gallery Masterpiece Tour 2020 presents Hélène Rouart in her Father’s Study, 1886 a large-scale oil painting by Degas and one of the most important paintings in the National Gallery’s collection. The work will be shown at the same time as an internationally touring exhibition from Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, Making an Impression: Prints by Manet, Pissarro and their Contemporaries.
Kirkby Gallery has been selected as the first of only three venues across the UK to display The National Gallery Masterpiece Tour 2020, sponsored by Christie’s, which exhibits this major artwork by Degas at centre stage within the gallery. Providing a historical context to the work, it will be shown alongside the internationally touring exhibition on loan from the Ashmolean Museum.
While the wider Ashmolean exhibition explores the Impressionists characteristic depiction of modern life of the city, portraits and landscape, Degas’s masterpiece presents an intriguing domestic scene offering the opportunity to explore ideas around portraiture and the role of women in art.
Made up of 34 prints, artists featured in Making an Impression include Mary Cassatt (1844 – 1926), Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro (1830–1903), and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Kirkby Gallery’s display seeks to explain the fascinating connections between Degas and the featured Impressionists, which will serve to explain their artistic practice and both their personal and professional relationships.
Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said: “We’re delighted to bring the work of these incredible artists to Knowsley and give our residents a chance to view these masterpieces for themselves. The fact that these two institutions are presenting works from their collections in Kirkby is a real coup and something we are very proud of. Culture and the arts have the ability to change and enrich lives and I am delighted we are able to bring this free display to the people of Kirkby and beyond.”
Furthermore, the exhibition will give schools the opportunity to loan Kirkby Gallery’s newest educational resources inspired by the exhibition; The BIG artists book on … Impressionism. They are larger-than-life art books which come complete with materials, designed to allow schools to explore Impressionism as an art movement, to encourage creative learning beyond the gallery.
This impressive exhibition cements Knowsley’s commitment to embracing the arts and culture and helps to pave the way for 2022 when Knowsley will be celebrated as the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture. Alongside a series of events and activities throughout 2022, the opening of the Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot will be a key highlight.
Opening times: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9am to 5pm (last entry 4.30pm), Thursday 5pm to 6.30pm (booking is required for Thursday evenings), Saturday 10am to 1pm (last entry 12.30pm).