Why I am coming to Harrogate to open a new gallery by top London art figure

It shows a great deal of faith in Harrogate - and the future - to open something new during the current pandemic but that is what internationally renowned contemporary art dealer Johnny Messum is about to do.

Friday, 3rd July 2020, 2:29 pm
Johnny Messum - Boasting a major reputation from his existing galleries in London and Wiltshire, this major arts figure is to open a gallery in Harrogate this month.

Boasting a major reputation from his existing galleries in London and Wiltshire, this major arts figure will open the doors of his new Harrogate gallery on the weekend of July 11-12.

Located at 2-6 James Street, Johnny told the Harrogate Advertiser: “I’m really looking forward to opening in Harrogate shortly. My family has been coming up to Harrogate for business and personal reasons for years. We’re going to be in a beautiful building on James Street, which is a beautiful street.

“We’ve always been very supportive of northern artists. A lot of our clients live in the north east, too."

Johnny Messum plans to hold six shows of the best of international contemporary and Modern British art each year in the Harrogate gallery with accompanying talks and events, mirroring the highly acclaimed programmes currently on offer at his galleries in London and Wiltshire.

Spread over two floors, the new gallery will be launching over the weekend of July 11-12 and guests are invited to book timed appointments in advance so they can view the exhibits in a safe and relaxed environment.

After studying History of Art at Edinburgh University, followed by a stint at Christie’s, Messum has been a director at Messums London gallery for 15 years.

In 2016 he founded Messums Wiltshire, an inspirational and innovative art centre.

The new Messums Harrogate gallery is his first venture in the north, building on strong links to the arts world of Yorkshire and the North East Messum he forged over a number of years.

Part of the reason for his pioneering Harrogate venture is that Messum is a fan of the town and recognises the strength of the gallery scene here.

Johnny said: “We’re very aware we’re stepping into a town which has already proved itself in the art world.

“Very difficult times are often the times where you have to make big decisions for the future.

“Art has an important place in people’s live, it isn’t just commerce.”

What to expect from Messums Harrogate gallery

The new Harrogate gallery programme will open with Material Textile: Modern British Female Designers, which will showcase some of the most colourful, important and collectable textiles created by iconic female artists during the 1950s -70s including Lucienne Day and Marian Mahler.

To complement the textiles, one of France’s leading ceramic artists Thiébaut Chagué, familiar to visitors to the V&A and the Louvre, will also have most recent studio works on display at the new Harrogate gallery.

The upper floor will focus primarily on British Impressionist paintings championed by Messums since the 1960s, including artists such as Walter Sickert and Harold Gilman.

The sculptress Dame Elisabeth Frink, the subject of a major show this summer at Messums Wiltshire, will also be represented.

To book a visit to Messums' new Harrogate gallery, visit: www.messumswiltshire.com/messums-harrogate

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