The Isle of Man’s National Art Gallery has officially reopened at the Manx Museum.
The display features historic and contemporary pieces by Manx artists or artists inspired by the Isle of Man and its people.
The gallery includes over 130 artworks, creative story telling interpretation, a section dedicated to how the collection is cared for and a dark room for artworks too sensitive to be displayed in a typical gallery setting.
Manx National Heritage (MNH) curator of art and social history Katie King said: ‘We have around 6,000 pieces in the art collection and it has been a real pleasure delving deeper to select pieces for the rehang.
‘We have been working hard behind the scenes on this project for almost 18 months, trying to tackle head-on some of the issues associated with caring for an historic collection.’
MNH has been collecting art for the people of the island for more than 100 years. The collection includes everything from the earliest-known views of the Isle of Man and engaging portraits of Manx society figures, to an internationally celebrated internment art collection.
It includes works by leading Manx artists John Miller Nicholson, Archibald Knox, Bryan Kneale and Michael Sandle; and Manx related pieces by George Romney, John Opie, Samuel Walters and Allan Milner.
Alongside fine art, sit naïve pieces and folk art, together with sketchbooks by amateur artists.
The relaunch of the National Art Gallery at the Manx Museum -
Katie explained that in the past significant artworks were accepted into the collection in poor condition, meaning they are difficult to display without prohibitively expensive conservation treatment.
Many other pieces are unframed or are extremely light sensitive, or in some cases were never meant to be viewed in a gallery setting.
‘We really wanted to show a high proportion of these artworks, as a number had never been seen in public before,’ she said.
‘Thanks to the financial support of the Friends of Manx National Heritage our ambition was realised, as many artworks have undergone conservation treatment, cleaning and reframing to prepare them for display.’
MNH thanked the Friends of Manx National Heritage who funded the project and the Steam Packet who assisted with the transportation of artworks needing conservation in the UK.
Explore all the artworks on display in the National Art Gallery online at imuseum.im