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A Life in Art: The Muriel Wilson Bequest

[ Exhibition )

Booking opens 25 July >
A boy wearing a jacket covered in badges stands against a green background with another man holding a painting of a heart behind him.

Peter Blake, Boy with Paintings, 1957-9, oil and enamels on wood, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (Accepted in lieu of Inheritance Tax by HM Government from the estate of Muriel Wilson and allocated to Pallant House Gallery, 2019) © Peter Blake. All rights reserved, DACS 2020.

The Gallery is reopening on Wednesday 5 August.

Booking opens on Friday 25 July. Friends can book from Monday 20 July.

Please visit our reopening page to find out more

An important early Peter Blake painting is one of the exceptional pieces from the collection of Muriel Wilson.

Curator and collector Muriel Wilson helped to introduce British art to the world during the 20th century. Discover works from her collection by artists such as Peter Blake, David Hockney and Eduardo Paolozzi, left to the Gallery upon her death.

The collection of Muriel Wilson (1933-2018) includes significant paintings, prints and sculptures by Michael Andrews, Peter Blake, Prunella Clough, Laura Ford, David Hockney, Eduardo Paolozzi, and more.

Muriel Wilson was an important figure in the British art world. She helped to organise early shows of artists such as Eduardo Paolozzi and Nigel Henderson, helping to place both artists firmly on the art world map.

In 1955, she married Prof Sir Colin St John (‘Sandy’) Wilson, the architect of the British Library and Pallant House Gallery’s contemporary wing. The Wilsons were significant collectors of British art both individually and as a couple, and were early supporters of artists including Peter Blake, Eduardo Paolozzi and Nigel Henderson.

Following her divorce from Wilson, she worked with the British Council where she promoted the work of British artists abroad, including taking Richard Long to the Venice Biennale. She was also instrumental in introducing many important overseas artists to UK audiences.

Find out more about The Wilson Gift and Loan

Muriel Wilson’s collection joins that of other female collectors at the Gallery, including criminal psychologist Elizabeth Burney, Claire Neilson (presented by Jeremy Greenwood and Jeremy Swerdlow) and Ann Dannatt (who built her collection with her husband George Dannatt). By continuing to acquire collections amassed by women, the Gallery aims to redress historical imbalances and tell the wider story of 20th century art in Britain, including the stories of collectors.

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