Town’s lesser-known artists
set to step out of shadows

The hidden art of Barnsley is being revealed in a new exhibition.

Few people will be familiar with most of the artists being shown in the exhibition at the Cooper Gallery, which opens on Saturday, but they will be in for a treat, says Hugh Polehampton, chairman of volunteer group Barnsley Art on Your Doorstep.

He said: “I think it will be a revelation to people. There are some beautiful paintings on show. What is amazing is the contrast and difference in style between them.”

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The best known painter on show is the pre-Raphelite John Roddam Spencer Stanhope (1829-1908), of Cannon Hall and the earliest William Tate (1747-1806). Stanhope’s works include portraits of his nephew and niece and pulpit panels he painted for his local church in Cawthorne.

As well as paintings – including six by the modernist Barker Fairley, who is well-known in Canada, but whose works were never shown before in this country, the exhibition, which has five themes ranging from “industry and art” to the “outdoors”, also includes sculpture, glassware and books.

The artists were mostly Barnsley born. “We have done talks to community groups and schools and they might have heard of John Roddam Spencer Stanhope but these other ones they have never heard of,” added Mr Polehampton.

There will be a talk by the writer Nick Fielding at the gallery on June 14 at 11am on Thomas Witlam Atkinson, an architect and artist born in Cawthorne, who travelled to central Asia in the mid 19th century.