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Banbury Museum is getting set for the construction of a new special exhibitions gallery as it announces receipt of a major donation. The monies have been gifted to the popular cultural venue by The Mr and Mrs JA Pye Charitable Settlement, and will fund the construction of The Pye Gallery.
The development of The Pye Gallery represents the first major capital project for the Banbury Museum Trust, which was created in November 2013 to manage the Museum, and is the first step in transforming the Museum into a major regional cultural venue.
Cherwell District Council, which supports the museum’s day-to-day running costs, is among the partners hailing the impact the development will have.
The Pye Gallery will be a new cultural venue for north Oxfordshire, hosting shows from national museums and major collections. It is scheduled to open in 2018, and exhibitions by world-famous artists have already been secured. These include the display of the Ashmolean Museum’s new acquisition, ‘High Street, Oxford’ by JMW Turner; and works by renowned pop artists such as Roy Lichtenstein.
“In 2013 we began a journey to transform the museum, to create a new exciting cultural venue for the region. The Pye Gallery is the first step, and supports the recently announced Castle Quay 2 commercial development, which will bring the Light Cinema Company’s new eight-screen multiplex with over 1300 seats, and Premier Inn to join the cultural quarter.”
“This is wonderful news for north Oxfordshire and the wider region, and we are tremendously grateful to the generous donors.
“The new gallery will help further elevate Banbury as a cultural destination drawing visitors across the county and the wider region. The news validates Cherwell’s decision to support the establishment of the museum as a charitable trust, and it is very pleasing to see the success the management is having making the most of the flexibility this status gives them.”
The Pye Gallery is set to open in 2018 and the programme will include a new exhibition from the Ashmolean Museum, ‘The Young Turner: Ambitions in Architecture and the Art of Perspective’, and ‘Pop Art in Print’ from the V&A.
“I am delighted that The Pye Gallery will be the first venue to show the Ashmolean’s new acquisition, Turner’s ‘High Street, Oxford’. To start the regional tour of the painting in Banbury Museum’s new special exhibitions space is a real honour, and I hope that the people from the county and beyond will enjoy seeing the painting in the new galleries.”
Banbury Museum is also grateful to Oxford Architects LLP who have designed the scheme for the new gallery. The Trust is still fundraising to raise £60,000 to meet a total £280,000 target, and is awaiting the outcome of an application made to Arts Council England. Donations can be made online at banburymuseum.org/Make-A-Donation or sent to Simon Townsend, Museum Director, Banbury Museum, Spiceball Park Rd, Banbury, Oxon, OX16 2PQ.
The museum is currently exhibiting work by Grayson Perry and the exhibition ‘Julie Cope’s Grand Tour: The Story of a Life by Grayson Perry’ can be seen until 13 May.
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