The New Art Gallery Walsall. Photo: George Benson / Stereographic.

Arts Council England Grant Saves Arts Space in Walsall

An Arts Council England grant to the New Art Gallery Walsall, which opened in 2000, will keep it from shutting down, reports Martin Bailey of the Art Newspaper. The council is giving the museum about $4.5 million, which will be distributed in the amount of $900,000 annually until the year 2022.

The museum, known for it collection of works by Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh gifted by the widow of sculptor Jacob Epstein, was in danger of closing after the Walsall Council proposed to reduce funding for the museum last November from around $1.14 million a year to zero by 2020. People from the British art world—such as artist Cornelia Parker and Hans Ulrich Obrist, the Serpentine Galleries’ artistic director—wrote a letter to The Guardian protesting the museum’s closure, calling it “a devastating blow to the life of the community.” The museum is now trying to partner with the University of Wolverhampton in order to curtail its financial dependence on the Walsall Council.