Here are some questions that people frequently ask, if there are questions you would like to ask send us an email:
The building cost £21 million. There was £15.75 million from the Arts Lottery Fund, £4.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund and £0.3 million from Walsall City Challenge.
It took 10 years in the planning stages and 3 years to build.
Following a two stage international architectural competition, the London based Anglo-Canadian architects
Caruso St John were appointed to the project in 1996. The contractors were McAlpine.
In 2016 the gallery welcomed 176,980 visitors and over 1.3 million since opening in February 2000.
The galleries permanent collections contain over 1,500 sculptures, painting and prints.
The gallery opened in February 2000 and was officially opened on 5 May 2000 by HM The Queen
Tuesday – Saturday 10am-5pm / Sundays 12noon-4pm
Closed Mondays and Bank Holidays
The Gallery offers unpaid work experience and voluntary placements across various departments including; Exhibitions & Artists’ Studio, Technical, Collections, Art Library & Archive, Education & Audience Development and Marketing. There is not a set programme of placements per year; the number of placements offered being dependent upon the nature of the Gallery programme and the opportunities arising from this.
Placements for students under the age of 18 years can only be arranged within our Education Department.
Please see the Opportunities page for more details and to download the Work Experience Application Form.
The building is 37 metres high and covers 4,500 metres of space, the equivalent of a full size football pitch.
The Gallery Shop is a great place to find unusual gifts, art books, exhibition catalogues,
postcards and stationary, craft kids and gallery merchandise and artists notebooks.
The Art Library is a free resource for everyone to find our more about art and the history of the gallery, there is also free internet access. What’s On section to find out more. The gallery can be hired for corporate events and meetings and full details scan be found in the Gallery Hire section.
The gallery has a Costa which is open Monday – Saturday 8.30am – 5pm, Sunday 10am – 4pm.
The old Museum and Art Gallery used to share a building in Lichfield Street with the Central Library. Once the art gallery moved to its new home, the Museum integrated with the Library Service.
It was regarded as important that The New Art Gallery Walsall involved artists right from the beginning of the project. Gary Kirkham was commissioned to create a document of the building process and photographer Ming de Nasty created a wide range of portraits commemorating many of those who contributed to the project, particularly those that helped to build the Gallery. Richard Wentworth was commissioned to create the designs for Gallery Square including the floor design extending along the canalside as well as seating lighting and other facilities. Catherine Yass produced a series of films focusing on the people and the urban landscape of Walsall. Find out more about how the Gallery was constructed and who was involved by visiting the Art Library on the mezzanine level in the Gallery or find more information on our website about the Architecture of the Gallery.
The gallery is funded by Walsall Council and receives regular funding from Arts Council England. The gallery also generates income from commercial activity, conferences and room hire, membership, donations, grants from trust and foundations and sponsorship. Make a donation today and contribute to the projects and education work at the gallery.
The gallery is part of Walsall Council. The gallery also has a trust, Walsall Museums and Art Galleries Development Trust, registered charity number 1064056.
The gallery is funded by Walsall Council and the Arts Council England and this core funding subsidises free admission. Free admission came to the fore in 2001 as the DCMS supported the campaign for all national museums to have free admission. This policy enables everyone to have access to culture and to the nation’s art collections.
The Garman Ryan Collection was donated to the Borough in 1973 by Lady Kathleen Garman. It consists of 365 works of art, over a third of them being three-dimensional works. Two remarkable women created this collection: Kathleen Garman, lover and later wife of artist Jacob Epstein, and her life-long friend Sally Ryan, a talented sculptor.
Kathleen Garman lived and grew up in Oakeswell Hall, Wednesbury just a few miles from Walsall.
Kathleen left the area and moved to London but made regular visits to Walsall and the Black Country. She was Sir Jacob Epstein’s long time mistress and eventually they married, when he died she was the sole beneficiary of his private art collection. Much of the collection was sold but Kathleen started her own collection with her friend, sculptor Sally Ryan, together, they formed an art collection that is intimate, adventurous and eclectic, reflecting their wide-ranging tastes from many different cultures and periods around the world. In later life Kathleen was looking to give her collection a more permanent home and considered the old family home, Oakeswell Hall, unfortunately the hall was about to be demolished and so she came to Walsall and gifted the collection to Walsall Council.
The old Museum and Art Gallery in Lichfield Street housed the collection for many years but it was apparent these amazing works of art needed more space and special conditions. The Garman Ryan collection was the main impetus for the new gallery building we now see in Gallery Square which took ten years to plan and five years to build.
If you are able to visit the gallery in person, we are open 10am-5pm Tuesday to Saturday, Sundays 12noon – 4pm, Closed Mondays and Bank Holidays, the Garman Ryan Collection is on Floors 1 and 2. You can also visit the Art Library on the mezzanine level and find out more about the history of the gallery and all the collections. You can search information on this website or make an appointment to see the archive with the Collections Curator.
There is a learning programme for educational groups school groups which links to the collections and temporary exhibitions, we also offer bespoke curator talks to private groups that can be booked in advance.
The book A Shared Vision is all about the Garman Ryan Collection and can be purchased from the Gallery Shop £15 paperback and £25 hardback.
The Gallery has a hugely wide-ranging programme across five floors, of changing exhibitions of historic, modern and contemporary art. The core art collection, the Garman Ryan Collection is located on Floors 1 and 2 and has works by world famous artists including Van Gogh, Constable, Turner, Picasso and Matisse. The contemporary exhibitions programme can be found on Floors 3 and 4; showcasing the best in regional, national and international art, through both solo and themed group exhibitions. Our Artists’ Studio, which hosts a curated programme of residences, is located on Floor 1 . You can also visit the Community Gallery, Art Library, Costa Coffee or the Roof Terrace or attend a wide range of events and activities.
Regular programming meetings take place at the Gallery which involve a range of staff across Exhibitions, Collections, Education, Technical and Marketing as well as the Director. Most of our exhibitions are generated in-house and are developed by the Gallery team though sometimes we collaborate with other partners to share resources and audiences. The team are constantly researching locally, regionally, nationally and internationally and approaches are then made to artists, galleries and arts organisations to explore options for further development. Throughout the programme, we are careful to consider a balance in terms of the range of media, the balance of solo to group shows and reflecting the diversity of our communities.
Though many opportunities arise through artists being invited to work with us, we are also happy to consider proposals and applications; see the Opportunities page for more details.
There are approximately 40 staff working at the gallery nearly half of which are Gallery Assistants, who work on the gallery floors and reception. The rest of the team is made up of Exhibitions, Collections and Education Curators and a Marketing, Operations, Technical and Finance team.