A DUTCH masterpiece from the 18th century has found a new temporary home in Barnsley Market - in a move described as a ‘real coup’ for the town.
Jan Van Huysum’s ‘Flowers in a Terracotta Vase’ is now in situ at Unit 13 on the market’s ground floor, as part of a National Gallery tour placing the almost 300-year-old painting in unusual surroundings.
A flower trail guides people from the painting to another Van Huysum work at the Cooper Gallery, where visitors can learn more about the Amsterdam artist.
National Gallery exhibitions manager Gracie Divall told the Chronicle the organisation had chosen Barnsley Museums as a partner due to its ‘amazing’ community work.
Gracie said: “What we really want to do with this tour is reflect how arts and culture can really support wellbeing as well - people getting outdoors, gardening - but Barnsley Museums have such an amazing wellbeing support programme already.
“Particularly at a time when we’re encouraging people not to travel, and people don’t feel confident travelling, it’s an opportunity to see artwork on your doorstep.
“We’ve done a pop-up tour before in 2019, but the way we’re running this tour and the themes we’re embracing are completely in response to the pandemic and lockdown.”
Action for Asperger’s and Autism Barnsley, groups that both work with Barnsley Museums, collaborated on the project - writing a poem that’s displayed alongside the painting.
The six-month collaborative work, focused on encouraging people to be active and appreciate nature, also sees people given seeds to plant at home.
Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis - former shadow culture minister - was at the unveiling on Tuesday.
“It’s a real coup for Barnsley and what I really hope is that lots of people will take the opportunity not just to come in and look at the painting, but then follow the trail,” said Dan.
“We’ve got the basis of a strong cultural offer in Barnsley, and things like this just get people thinking about the importance of art and culture, and the benefit it adds to people’s lives.
“You don’t have to be an art lover to come along and enjoy that integral painting, and then get involved with the wider experience.”
Barnsley Market hosting historic artwork on 'unusual' tour
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