Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions that people frequently ask, if there are questions you would like to ask send us an email:

How much did the gallery cost to build? >

How long did the gallery take to build? >

Who built the gallery? >

How many people have been to the gallery? >

How many artworks do you have in your permanent collections? >

The galleries permanent collections contain over 1,500 sculptures, painting and prints.

When did the gallery open? >

What are your opening hours? >

Tuesday – Saturday 10am-5pm  / Sundays 12noon-4pm

Closed Mondays and Bank Holidays

Do you have work placements? >

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.

How big is the gallery? >

How do I get to the gallery on public transport? >

What else is at the gallery? >

What happened to the old gallery building in Walsall? >

How were artists involved in the development of The New Art Gallery? >

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.

How is the gallery currently funded? >

How is the gallery managed? >

Why does the gallery not charge an admission fee? >

How did the collection come to Walsall? >

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.

How do I find out more about the collection? >

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.

What kind of things can I see in the gallery? >

How do you decide which exhibitions are programmed and which artists are selected? >

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.

How many staff work at the gallery? >