Family give approval to changes in Norwich Castle Museum gallery

The family who donated a gallery to Norwich Castle Museum are backing the proposed changes to it.

The Norfolk Contemporary Art Society has started a petition against potential changes to the Timothy Gurney Gallery, but the family who made it possible have given their backing to the plans.

The society understands that child-ren's educational projects are to be moved from the auditorium to the gallery. But while they are concerned that this change will reduce the number of people seeing the contemporary work, the Gurney family have given the plans their support and revealed they have been in negotiation with Vanessa Trevelyan, the head of Norfolk museums, for several months.

The parents of Richard Gurney of Heggatt Hall, Horstead, and Jane Macfarlane, of White House Farm, Rackheath, gave the Timothy Gurney Gallery to the museum in 1964.

Mr Gurney said: 'My parents gave the gallery with the express intention that it should be a place to inspire young artists.

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'Since then, as years went by, it became more and more used as a gallery for displaying contemporary art, and began to lose its originally intended use.

'My sister and I, who now look after the interests of the gift, as set out in a deed between Norwich City Council, and the museum, feel that the proposals to use the gallery as a place to teach art to young people,is very much within the guidelines as set out in that deed.'

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Last week Ms Trevelyan said that the proposal was to use the gallery to accommodate visits from school and sixth form students so that they can learn about contemporary art and gain inspiration for their own work.

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