Featuring contemporary visual art exhibitions from artists from the UK as well as international artists, this art gallery located within Blackpool is perfect for lovers of art or those who would just like to discover something new.
Established over 100 years ago, this gallery has been the central place within the area for the very best of various artists work to be showcased and for the public to explore it. The gallery often loans historical pieces from across the world which makes it a fantastic place for the public to learn more about the past whilst appreciating fine art.
Grundy Art Gallery also offers special programmes for those attending with young people so even the younger ones will be able to discover and find something of interest to them.
There’s also a shop open which features artist made pieces such as jewellery, creative toys, handcrafted cards and much more!
The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday and there’s free admission for everyone.
In 1902 the Chairman of the Library Committee approached Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish-born philanthropist who made his money in the American steel industry, with a proposal for financial aid for a new Central Library. Previous to this, Blackpool’s main free library had occupied the Octagon Rooms at Talbot Square and above St John’s Market on Market Street, neither of which had modern facilities for a successful library.
The first attempt to acquire funding for this venture proved unsuccessful, but in 1905 the Library Committee approached him again, this time with pleasing results. In 1906, official word came that Carnegie would be donating £15,000 (approx. £1,173,000 in 2018). At the same time, Sir Cuthbert and John Grundy had actively been donating paintings to the town’s collections and actively sought somewhere to display these items. With the news of the new Central Library, the Grundy Brothers donated an additional £2,000 (approx. £118,000 in 2018) to create the Grundy Art Gallery in keeping with the Central Library design.
Busts of both John and Cuthbert Grundy can be seen in the Grundy Art Gallery, and on the upper floor of Central Library a stained-glass window honours Andrew Carnegie. Another stained-glass window is emblazoned with Blackpool’s coat of arms. During the Central Library’s £3million refurbishment in 2011 eight more stained-glass windows were designed for the main lending library, reflecting the original vision for the library.
Over the last one hundred years the conjoined buildings have operated within their purpose, with the exception of the First World War when the Central Library was used as billeting headquarters, resulting in the death of Corporal Harold Butterworth who fell in the rear stairwell of the library in 1915.
The Grundy Art Gallery continues to deliver an amazing array of exhibitions fulfilling its role as a National Portfolio holder for the Arts Council including; Grayson Perry’s The Vanity of Small Differences (2018) and Mark Leckey’s This Kolossal Kat, That Massive Mog (2016). In addition to this they host exhibitions with a more local focus such as Mass Photography Blackpool Through the Lense (2011). Highlights from the Grundy’s extensive collection include Tracey Emin’s I Know, I Know, I Know (2012), Dame Laura Knight’s Number One Dressing Room(1947) and David Robert’s Ruin Cathedral (1931).