Home Latest news Artworks by world-famous artists to come to Kirkby

Artworks by world-famous artists to come to Kirkby

by Gemma Melling

Today, Knowsley Council announces that Kirkby Gallery is set to present the work of world-renowned artists including Cézanne, Degas, and Renoir in the gallery’s most ambitious exhibition to date. The display will be a key part of Knowsley’s year-long celebrations as the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture in 2022.

From 10 October – 17 December 2022 visitors have the opportunity to see artworks from the collections of two internationally recognised art institutions for free.

The National Gallery Masterpiece Tour 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 one of only three venues across the UK to display The National Gallery Masterpiece Tour, 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.

Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas Hélène Rouart in her Father's Study 1886 © The National Gallery, London

Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas Hélène Rouart in her Father’s Study 1886 © The National Gallery, London

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 (1839 – 1906), Camille Pissarro (1830–1903), and Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841 – 1919). 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.

Councillor Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Community and Neighbourhoods said:

“We feel incredibly privileged and excited to have been selected as a venue for this exceptional work. This, presented alongside other Impressionist masters from the Ashmolean’s collection, will be a fantastic highlight to our year as the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture. We cannot wait for our communities to have the opportunity to view these incredible works of art right here in Knowsley.

“The exhibition will offer something for everyone, and we know that our schools and wider community will absolutely love this wonderful Degas painting, and the exhibition and education programme surrounding it. We are really looking forward to welcoming many, many residents and visitors to Kirkby Gallery.”

This exhibition was originally due to go ahead in spring 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Camille Pissarro Women Weeding the Grass, for ‘The Labours of the Fields’ 1894 © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Camille Pissarro Women Weeding the Grass, for ‘The Labours of the Fields’ 1894 © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Knowsley’s Borough of Culture
2022 marks Knowsley’s year as Borough of Culture. The year’s theme is ‘Storytelling’ and a programme of events will be presented in response to this with highlights including the opening of The Shakespeare North Playhouse, which will stage a wide-ranging programme of performances, as well as plays by Shakespeare, one of the world greatest storytellers.

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Felix Vallotton The Shower 1894 © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Felix Vallotton The Shower 1894 © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford