A new state-of-the art sensor monitoring light, temperature and humidity at Bradford’s Cartwright Hall means the gallery will now be able to show rare works without risk of damage.
Gallery bosses hope the environmental monitoring system will make it easier for them to borrow delicate artworks from national institutions and as a result help draw in bigger visitor numbers from far and wide.
Extremes and changes in the area around artworks can cause serious damage causing wood to crack, metal to rust and fabrics to fade.
But thanks to the new sensor, an exhibition will open in March featuring rarely seen in public works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) who was the leading member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
Bradford Council’s executive member responsible for culture, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, said: “This fascinating exhibition will offer a unique opportunity to see some works that have rarely been seen before in public.
“The investment we’ve made in the exhibition space means that we’re now able to host significant exhibitions like this which will encourage people to visit from far and wide.”
Rossetti’s Obsession: Images of Jane Morris, his muse, will bring together paintings and chalk drawings by him and photographs of her, including a number in which she poses for possible paintings.
The exhibition – being staged on the centenary of Jane Morris’s death – will run from Saturday, March 15, until Sunday, June 1, and will be supported by a series of talks and workshops.
Central to the exhibition are a number of works that form a major strand in Rossetti’s mid-to-late painting, regarded by many as being the height of his best work including Proserpine (1882), from Birmingham Museums Trust; Lady of the Window (1870) from Bradford Council’s art collection and Lady of the Flame (1870) from Manchester City Galleries.
After Bradford, the exhibition will go on to tour the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Liverpool and the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow.
For further information about exhibitions and events being held at the Council’s museums and galleries, visit bradfordmuseums.org or follow @BradfordMuseums