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by Susan Wood

The New Hall Art Collection in Cambridge

On Sunday 25 July 2010 a dozen or so of us South London Women Artists headed north. Our destination: Cambridge. Jenny Sweeney had organised a tour of the New Hall Art Collection at Murray Edwards College with curator Amanda Rigler as our excellent guide.

Introduction to the collection

Amanda started our tour by giving us a brief history of the permanent collection of works of art by women. It’s second only in the world to the permanent collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC. As it’s the most important collection in Europe we were all very excited about visiting the New Hall Art Collection.
The building itself was designed by Barbican architects Chamberlain, Powell and Bon. The pale grey brick walls, clean 60’s “Brutalist” lines, softened by the influence of Islamic architecture (especially the newly restored dome), beautiful water features and leafy grounds formed a very special setting for a very special collection.
In 1992 the then President of New College, Dr Valerie Pearl, wrote to leading women artists in Britain asking for donations of works. Today there are over 400 works, including works by women artists from many nations. The Virtual Gallery at http://www-art.newhall.cam.ac.uk/gallery/ is a fascinating resource, and acts a reminder to those who have been to the gallery, and as a prompt to those who haven’t!

Highlights
With such a diverse collection it’s impossible to even begin to describe the highlights – which is why we recommend that you visit it yourself! (more…)

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