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JerwoodCollection.Online: Making British Art Accessible to the Public

Thomas Merton said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” The purpose of the Jerwood Collection of Modern and Contemporary British art is to give the public access to a privately-owned collection and enhance the understanding and enjoyment of 20th and 21st-century British art.

Collected by Alan Grieve (Chairman, Jerwood Foundation) the Jerwood Collection comprises just under 300 works of Modern and Contemporary British art and continues to grow with new acquisitions and donations under the direction of Lara Wardle.

We speak to Lara Wardle, Director at Jerwood Foundation (JerwoodCollection.Online), to talk about how a strong online presence has helped Jerwood grow from strength to strength and how social media has enabled them to promote British Art and building a stellar brand.

What inspired you to start JerwoodCollection.Online? Tell us the story.

Lara Wardle
Lara Wardle

Jerwood Collection is a private collection of modern and contemporary British art for which the first picture was bought 25 years ago by Alan Grieve, Chairman, Jerwood Foundation.

It now comprises just under 300 works of art and continues to grow with new acquisitions and donations. Although it has been represented on various websites, it has never had its own digital platform which is why we decided to launch Jerwoodcollection.online last year.

Tell us about the Jerwood Gallery.  

The Jerwood Gallery in Hastings opened its doors to the public in 2012. Designed by the young architectural practice HAT Projects, the award-winning Gallery houses the Jerwood Collection, alongside a curated program of contemporary art.

The gallery is now a UK Charity and has been selected as one of Arts Council England’s NPO organizations’ 2018-2022. Forthcoming 2018 exhibitions at the gallery include Paul Feiler: One Hundred Years (21 April – 8 July 2018); and In Focus – Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: Sea, Rock, Earth and Ice (13 June – 7 October 2018)both inspired by works in the Jerwood Collection.

Jerwood is a founding partner of Art UK, could you talk about how having a strong online presence has helped Jerwood grow from strength to strength?

Having an online presence is essential to Jerwood Collection’s purpose to give the public access to a privately-owned collection and enhance the understanding and enjoyment of 20th and 21st century British art. In addition to being a founding partner of Art UK, Jerwood Collection is also a partner with Bridgeman Images.

How important is social media in promoting Art and building a stellar brand?

Social media has become increasingly important in promoting art and building a strong brand presence. We use both Instagram (@larawardle_art) and Twitter (@JerwoodF) to talk about Jerwood Collection and the wider work of Jerwood Foundation and the Jerwood family of organizations: Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Jerwood Space and Jerwood Gallery, Hastings.

It’s not all about brand building though, for me, social media is about building relationships, strengthening partnerships and being kept up to date with what’s happening in the art world.

What are your future plans for Jerwood Collection?

Continuing to grow the collection through acquisitions and donations, to create opportunities to enhance the learning and enjoyment of 20th and 21st-century British Art through our ongoing loans program and enhanced digital presence.

I am also planning a number of exhibitions this year to mark the collection’s 25th anniversary, including bringing 25 works to display at Sotheby’s, Bond Street in June alongside their Modern British & Post War Sale.

Looking further into 2018 – the In Focus Wilhelmina Barns-Graham exhibition, inspired by a work in the Jerwood Collection, which opens at Jerwood Gallery in June, travels to the Graves Gallery, Sheffield later in the year (8 December 2018 – 16 March 2019).

Why did you choose a .ONLINE domain name? How is it helping you develop a unique online brand?

I felt a  .online domain name was the right fit for us: The collection itself is not a company or organization and the domain ‘online’ describes just what the website is – Jerwood Collection’s online presence.

 

“Planning to take your business online? Get your .ONLINE domain now!’

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