A COMMISSION inspired by the life and legacy of Maurice Dobson will launch next weekend.

Three local artists have created pieces which will be showcased at the Maurice Dobson Museum and Heritage Centre, in Darfield, from June 8 to July 27 in celebration of Pride Month.

Maurice and his partner, Fred Halliday, lived together as an openly gay couple from the early 1950s until Fred’s death in 1988, a time when homosexuality was still illegal and posed the threat of a prison sentence.

Despite the legal and societal challenges of their time, Maurice chose to live his life proudly and defiantly, expressed through his flamboyant fashion and appearance.

The exhibition will feature a new painting, a series of pop art-style portraits and a selection of pamphlets.

These pamphlets, produced by the artists, will be available for purchase in the museum gift shop to raise funds for the museum.

In February, Barnsley Civic awarded the ‘Maurice Dobson Commission’ to graphic designer and illustrator Christopher Goggs, painter Rebekah ‘Higgy’ Higginbotham and poet Simon Beech.

Jason White, creative engagement manager at Barnsley Civic, said: “When the Maurice Dobson Museum reached out to us last year to explore ways to celebrate Darfield’s own queer icon, we suggested giving local artists the opportunity to create new work inspired by his life, not only as a collector of antiquities but also as an out and proud gay man in the 1950s and 1960s.

“We hope that this exhibition will inspire a new audience and attract new visitors to the museum.”