The town's Cooper Gallery is to host drawings from the likes of Tracey Emin, David Hockney, Grayson Perry, Anish Kapoor and Bridget Riley, alongside 50 more, as part of the touring exhibition.
Entitled Pushing paper: contemporary drawing from 1970 to now, this is the British Museum's first ever collaborative co-curated exhibition, partnering with Barnsley Museums and three more.
To see works by the "superstars of the art world" in Barnsley, the council's cabinet member for culture said, cements the district's reputation as a growing visitor attraction.
"This exhibition is the only time that people will be able to see these drawings in one place so it’s a complete one-off and real coup for Barnsley and Yorkshire," said Coun Tim Cheetham.
“If you’re an art aficionado then we think you will love this collection and if you have never set foot in a gallery, then this is the perfect time to change that.
“The fact an exhibition of international calibre is coming to Barnsley shows where we now are on the global stage when it comes to attracting and providing first class tourism experiences for the people of the borough, the county and the country.”
The Cooper Gallery will be the last location in England, before the tour heads to its final destination in Orkney. The exhibition features original drawings and artworks all created using anything that’s not printing – including pen, pencil and paint.
Maria Bojanowska, head of national programmes at the British Museum, said: “Some of these pieces have never been seen on public display prior to this tour, which makes it even more compelling.
"We hope art lovers will appreciate being able to see these works in such intimate settings and that a whole new wave of people will be engaged in the art world.”
The exhibition runs at the Cooper Gallery until February 5.
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