The New Art Gallery Walsall acquired a large archive from the Garman-Epstein family containing lots of information about the life of Jacob Epstein, Kathleen Garman and their family and friends. We hold many documents, photographs, letters, books and audio visual material.

In addition, our Archives also contain a vast range of general information about the building, our art collections and past exhibitions programmes.


From 2009-2011, Bob and Roberta Smith was appointed as our artist in residence, as part of the New Ways of Curating programme, to unearth the secrets of the Epstein Archive and interpret it in new and exciting ways.  During their two year residency they rifled through the letters, photographs and documents, creating new works and short films in response to what was found. In September 2011, Bob and Roberta Smith’s Epstein Archive Gallery opened on Floor 1.

Displaying contemporary art and archives side by side, Bob and Roberta Smith’s Epstein Archive Gallery showcases the extraordinary and tragic story of the Garman-Epstein family. The book of the project, How To Let An Artist Rifle Through Your Archives, is available in the Gallery Shop and in the Art Library.

The short films that Bob created, along with other films created by the Gallery, can be viewed here on our You Tube channel, and are also available to view in the Archive Gallery itself.