Jan van Huysum Visits

Jan van Huysum Visits arrives in Cornwall for second stop on National Gallery UK tour

Image: A visitor at The John Betjeman Centre, Wadebridge © National Gallery

National Gallery has teamed up with Cornwall Museums Partnership and Concern Wadebridge to bring Jan van Huysum’s Flowers in a Terracotta Vase (1736–7) to new audiences in England’s most south-westerly county.

Having last weekend departed a shopping centre in Great Yarmouth, where the touring exhibition began its summer sojourn, the painting is now in situ at the Sir John Betjeman Centre in Wadebridge until 4pm on Sunday 13th June.

The site, which supports people aged over 50 or who have a disability, was selected as an unusual venue to host an internationally significant artwork and somewhere which represents a place of intergenerational connection.

Jeremy Rowe, manager of Concern Wadebridge, says a love of the arts is “embedded in this part of Cornwall” and that the exhibition’s arrival is a “wonderful opportunity for the community to be able to see such a fantastic piece at such close quarters”.

A map of the stops for Jan van Huysum Visits this summer

Supporting the initiative’s remit to reach groups less likely to engage with major arts programming, Cornwall Museums Partnership has worked with local children and young people to develop alternative interpretative labels to accompany the artwork.

“When we were approached by the National Gallery, we were delighted to accept their invitation to work in partnership,” notes Emmie Kell, CEO at Cornwall Museums Partnership, who believes the scheme can be a “catalyst for more of the country’s national collections being available for the people of Cornwall”.

“Our charity”, she adds, “is committed to creating positive social change with museums and we believe that this project demonstrates how art can promote health and wellbeing, creating opportunities for communities to connect and create together.”

Five trainee curators, who are part of a John Ellerman Foundation-funded programme, have also worked alongside the National Gallery to produce the official interpretation.

Subsequent calling points for the Jan van Huysum Visits project will be in the East Midlands, South Yorkshire, Scotland and Northern Ireland.