A Chapman brothers sculpture at the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, England, in 2014. Photo: Felix Clay/The Guardian.

Jerwood Gallery Receives Repossession Notice for Three Hundred Artworks

Jerwood Gallery in Hastings, England, which is home to the Jerwood Collection of Modern and Contemporary British Art, has been served with a repossession notice for all three hundred artworks in the collection as its relationship with its sponsor, the Jerwood Foundation, continues to deteriorate, The Guardian reports. The gallery also stands to lose any future funding from the foundation—it has received $3.37 million since it was founded.

Established by the foundation, one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK, in March 2012, the gallery was meant to serve as the first public home for the collection, which comprises works by artists such as Barbara Hepworth, L.S. Lowry, Stanley Spencer, and Rose Wylie. In 2017, the gallery, which has a separate board from the foundation, sought more independence and became an independent charity.

A rift between gallery management and the foundation began growing last year, when they accused the organization of failing to meet its funding obligations and hired a lawyer. Alan Grieve—the foundation’s founding director and chairman who assembled the Collection of Modern and Contemporary British Art for the British businessman and philanthropist John Jerwood (1918–1991)—said that the dispute arose because the organization had decided not to give the arts space funding beyond 2019 after it failed to raise sufficient funds from third parties.

In response to the situation, the gallery’s director, Liz Gilmore, released a statement, which read: “Jerwood Gallery has been in discussion with Jerwood Foundation to ensure a long term future for the gallery over the past year. We are disappointed to learn that the foundation appears to have broken off these discussions by making public statements when negotiations are not yet concluded.”

Gilmore praised the gallery’s past accomplishments, including its work with local schools and partnerships with national institutions such as London’s National Gallery and Tate, and said that while the gallery’s “artistic DNA has been shaped in part by the presence of the foundation’s Modern British Art collection,” it “has also built a name for itself through its temporary exhibitions program.”

The gallery, which is leasing its current space from the foundation, is in discussions with other funding organizations, including Arts Council England.