A GALLERY dedicated to the work of artist John Piper will open in mid-December at Henley’s River & Rowing Museum, writes David White.
The museum hit its crowdfunding target of £22,000 over the summer with just days to spare after an appeal was launched on the Art Fund website in mid-May.
The museum will borrow extensively from private collections, David Bancroft, the museum’s head of operations, told a parks sub-committee meeting last week.
“The intention is we would have at least a year’s loan, possibly three years,” he added.
He said the exhibition would highlight Piper’s associations with Fawley Bottom and Henley.
The painter and printmaker, who died in 1992 aged 88, spent most of his working life at his farmhouse in Fawley, where he built a pottery and a studio large enough to create full-sized designs for stained-glass windows.
The artist’s great-granddaughter Jessica Piper said: “I speak on behalf of all my family when I say how extremely proud and honoured we are that the local community has supported the River & Rowing Museum’s vision and my great grandfather’s work in this way.
“He would have been delighted to have a gallery dedicated to his work in Henley, his local town for nearly 60 years. We simply cannot express how thankful and excited we are about the new John Piper gallery. Thank you to everyone who donated.”
River & Rowing Museum chief executive Ludo Keston added: “Henley is already world-famous as the home of the royal regatta and of rowing. Now our town will also become known as being home to the only permanent gallery dedicated to John Piper’s work — one of the most significant artists of the 20th century.
“We’re thrilled that thanks to the generosity of the public, the River & Rowing Museum will be bringing John Piper’s art to life for a whole new audience.”