Graves Gallery

Ampersand Foundation grant enables overhaul of Graves Gallery displays and programming

Image: Visitors at the Graves Gallery © Andy Brown

Graves Gallery, run by Museums Sheffield, is set to benefit from a five-year investment worth almost half a million pounds from the Ampersand Foundation.

The £455,000 grant, which is the largest ever awarded by the charity, will be used to implement a range of improvements in the gallery, boost conservation of the city’s art collection, and facilitate outreach work with local schools and artists.

Situated on the top floor of Sheffield’s Central Library, Graves Gallery displays works by high-profile artists such as JMW Turner, Cezanne, Bridget Riley and Grayson Perry.

Museums Sheffield hopes to collaborate with the city’s council to renovate the site when the funding outlook is more favourable – making the Ampersand Foundation’s support invaluable in the short term.

Where will the money go?

The Ampersand Foundation funding will support:

  • A six-month programme of redevelopment and redisplay including walls being re-cladded in three of the main galleries, redecoration of display spaces, and a complete change-over of a third of the artworks currently on display
  • Subsequent rehangs of a third of the gallery’s collection displays every year, offering visitors greater opportunity to see much more of the city’s collection
  • Galleries being co-curated with external partners including artists, experts and specialists; bringing new perspectives to the displays
  • A programme of conservation which will see multiple artworks receiving specialist care every year
  • From 2022, a series of exhibitions – created with, by and for young people – will see artworks from the collection go on display in schools and other venues
  • New artist commissions which will invite artists to develop new, innovative ways of engaging with the works in Sheffield’s collection through their own artistic practice

“The Graves Gallery is one of the jewels in the city’s cultural crown and we have ambitious long-term plans for it, but those plans have inevitably been delayed by the pandemic,” says Kirstie Hamilton, director of programmes at Museums Sheffield.

“As we work towards imagining the gallery’s future, this support from the Ampersand Foundation will ensure we’re able to provide amazing cultural experiences, show and celebrate more of the collection and develop truly meaningful partnerships with artists, schools and communities.”

The work funded by the grant will begin with a six-month refurbishment and redisplay project at the gallery, with reopening scheduled for late spring 2021.