Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.comptonverney.org.uk

BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
42 | ROSEHILL THEATRE
Our corporate investment is driven
by Sellafield, led by its Corporate
Director Andy Smith, who is a trustee
of Rosehill Arts Trust and chairs its
subsidiary Rosehill Theatre Enterprises.
In this, Rosehill’s 60th year, we
plan to launch a corporate revenue
funding programme, building on the
capital project and financial support,
led by the significant support of
Sellafield. We are delighted that
ADAPT, a consortium of organisations
supporting the decommissioning of
Sellafield, is at the vanguard of this
revenue support.
A new Chair of Rosehill Arts Trust,
John Clarke, joined us in early
2018, bringing with him significant
business interests and support
following a career leading the Nuclear
Decommissioning Authority. It goes
without saying that both John and
Andy enjoy the arts very much and
are committed to the impact they can
have on the communities in which
people live and work. Likewise, we
are supported by an experienced and
committed group of trustees, directors
and staff team.
Enhancing the local area
The area in which Rosehill operates,
West Cumbria, is one of stark contrasts.
On the one hand average earnings are
some of the highest in the UK and on
the other there are significant economic
and social challenges. Rosehill’s
underlying purpose is to work alongside,
and in partnership with, community-
based and national stakeholders to
deliver a programme of performance
and participatory work that is relevant
and of interest and value within this
starkly contrasting demographic.
This takes place at Rosehill itself and
through Rosehill on the Road, taking
our work into community-based
venues, and through our Taking Part
programme, delivering participatory
work mainly for youngpeople.
High-quality performances of different
sorts, many of a national and some of
an international level, is a prerequisite
and increasingly this sits alongside
social impact as a key driver. Blending
the two is both our new challenge
andopportunity.
While making the performance
programme diverse is increasingly
important, it is no less important to
provide experiences for people to try
out different musical and theatrical
experiences not generally available
in such a rural setting. The food we
serve is available on a stand-alone basis
but it is the fusion of this and artistic
programming that provides a more
rounded experience to the benefit of
both. Providing these, separately and
together, at prices that are intended
to be as accessible as possible within
the contrasting demographic we serve,
isimportant.
We are not there yet and do not get
everything just as we would like first
time round, of course, but we are on
an important journey, with further
building plans in the making. Wherever
you are, please come and see what
you think, and let usknow.
The economic
impact of the
redevelopment
has been
considerable
and is
intended to be
increasingly so.
Employment
numbers have
increased from
six to 25
Lung Theatre’s verbatim
production
Who Cares,
addressing the issues of
young carers, at Rosehill
in June 2019
43COMPTON VERNEY ART GALLERY & PARK |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
Director Julie Finch
Compton Verney Art Gallery
and Park
Based in Warwickshire, Compton Verney Art Gallery and
Park is an independent charitable trust with six permanent
collections, special exhibitions and an extensive programme
of events. Fully established in 2004, the art gallery and landscape
are the setting for works of art, a wildflower meadow, and for an
array of activities and events such as art courses and workshops,
its Dementia Café, tai chi classes, nature walks, foraging
expeditions, a forest school and in 2019, the BBC’s
Antiques
Roadshow
. Such events, indoors and outside, are programmed
to appeal to people from all ages and backgrounds, while
respecting the integrity of the landscape design and the delicate
ecosystem. Director Julie Finch tells the
Review
more.
You approach the art galleries at Compton Verney by crossing a lake over a bridge
flanked by sphinxes. You are already within our largest work of art, the park
commissioned from Lancelot “Capability” Brown in 1768. It has been described
as “a precise composition that is magically beautiful”. It is truly an inspiring place,
where art and landscape meet.
The vision and the hope
The Compton Verney estate, comprising a derelict, Grade I listed house and 120
acres of land, was purchased by Sir Peter Moores in 1993, with the intention
of creating a setting for experiencing art that would attract people who do not
normally visit museums or galleries. The vision was to create a place to explore
and enjoy, with no barriers deriving from class, education or opportunity.
FACTS ABOUT
COMPTON VERNEY ARTGALLERY
& PARK
»Director: Julie Finch
»Fully established in 2004
»Located in Compton Verney,
Warwickshire
»Services: Art gallery and
parkland
»No. of employees: 40, with
63 seasonal staff and 111
volunteers
»The landscape is a designated
wildlife site in Warwickshire
with more than 150 species
of birds, some of them rare in
the UK
»The lake, with its carp and
pike, now has otters living
along its bank
Compton Verney
ArtGallery & Park
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
44 | COMPTON VERNEY ART GALLERY & PARK
Thenewcultural organisation would
be within a one and a half hour drive
of 50 per cent of England’s population,
albeit in a rural setting.
Our founder wanted to extend an
invitation to all, to demystify art and
to “open doors but not push people
through”. He aimed for high standards
in the works of art, their quality,
conservation and display, in line with
national and international galleries –
and an accessible, inclusive, generous
approach, in keeping with his gift. He
challenged the staff to be innovative
and to experiment and was open to
change in the ways his vision would
beenacted.
The six collections donated to
Compton Verney were intended to
complement those in national and
regional museums. Spanning high and
popular art, each focused on an area
considered to be under-represented in
the national collection. Our remarkable
British Folk Art Collection, which
was assembled by art dealer Andras
Kalman, often provides a doorway to
enjoyment of art as people recognise
items from their own family history,
and understand that everyone can
be an artist, creating beauty from
textiles, shop signs and farming tools.
These objects are instantly accessible
and engaging and appeal to people
directly, without too much explanation.
Four of the collections represent Sir
Peter’s own enthusiasms: Paintings
from Naples 1600 to 1800, Northern
European Art 1450 to 1650, British
Portraits from 1585 and ancient
Chinese Bronzes and Ceramics.
Compton Verney was bequeathed
the Marx and Lambert collection
of modern design and popular art.
Temporary exhibitions of historic and
contemporary art, architecture and
design were central to the concept,
to attract new and repeat visits,
with education programmes and
commissions from artists.
Compton Verney was opened formally
by HRH Prince Charles in March
2004 after more than ten years
of restoration and remodelling by
architects Stanton Williams. The vision,
charm of the place and the quality and
ambition of the programme met with
excitement and critical acclaim from
the outset.
Fulfilling the vision
Fifteen years after opening, Compton
Verney has welcomed over a million
visitors, increasing annual visits from
38,000 in 2008 to more than 90,000.
This young organisation is cherished
by visitors, artists, staff and the many
volunteers who form our extended
family. We have a national and
international reputation for imaginative
programmes across art and nature.
We are known for our warm welcome,
high quality of visitor experience and
for the enchantment of the place.
The strategy has been to grow and
diversify visitor numbers and to raise
the profile of Compton Verney through
exciting exhibitions, dynamic collection
displays, learning programmes,
community outreach and a focus on
the landscape as well as art.
Folk art collection,
Compton Verney
Adventures in the
forest school
We are known
for our warm
welcome, high
quality of
visitor
experience
and for the
enchantment
of the place
45COMPTON VERNEY ART GALLERY & PARK |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
It is a young gallery in an old house.
Opened just 15 years ago, I took over
as director this year. From the start, I
could see that what had been created
was a place for people to explore art,
to find their own joy in it. The warmth
of our staff and volunteers stems from
the instructions our founder Sir Peter
Moores left; he wanted the staff to be
creative and inventive so that people
could access art in a way that was
fulfilling for them. Now, this is a truly
magical place filled with inspiration,
tranquility and, above all else, fun.
Alongside the continuing development
of the galleries and grounds, the
chapel has been restored and is a
venue for weddings, our acclaimed
volunteer scheme is expanding,
the women’s library opened and a
corporate hire business was launched.
Partnerships have been built with
museums, galleries and universities
as well as organisations like the BBC,
the RSC, the Alzheimer’s Society and
the British Army. Our links with local
community groups are expanding
to offer support for children and
the elderly by supporting education,
tackling loneliness and encouraging
mental wellbeing.
Compton Verney has benefited from
the lottery, through the National
Lottery Heritage Fund. In 2018
we became a National Portfolio
Organisation of Arts Council England,
with a focus on being a leader in
commissioning art in the landscape.
The recently introduced museums and
galleries tax relief has been helpful.
While many regional museums have
seen a reduction in curatorial staff,
we have maintained our vision to
share our specialist knowledge and
passion for art with the widest public,
encouraging the artist that is in
everyone. We have modelled all eight
of the areas for recommended action
highlighted in the Mendoza Review of
Museums in England (2017).
Challenge and opportunity
A challenge is that although the
endowment left by Sir Peter is an
immense asset, we depend on earned
income for all our programme costs
and at the moment the organisation is
not able to replenish that endowment
from earned income. With fixed
costs rising every year, an ever more
entrepreneurial approach is needed,
with even more creativity in involving
and engaging our communities.
The biggest challenge for cultural
organisations is to be relevant
and inclusive, relating to diverse
communities and sparking a sense
of meaning and purpose in those
who engage with them, on their
ownterms.
Compton Verney was founded on
a spirit of generosity by a lover of
art. What is needed now from the
government is more incentives for
philanthropists, an endorsement of the
importance of the arts in education
– and effective action to protect
the environment. The wellbeing
and creativity of people of all ages
have never been more important.
If the happiness of the population
is a measure of the success of a
government, Compton Verney has a
strong role to play in delivering that
ineffable sense of wellbeing.
It is amazing,
uplifting and,
above all, fun
Sir Peter Moores
Founder
»VISITOR COMMENTS
Compton Verney’s dazzling
exhibition is how all shows
should be done.” Waldemar
Januszczak,
The Times
Our visit to Compton Verney
was an unexpected pleasure.
[The exhibition] was superb,
beautifully presented but
we were bowled over by the
permanent collection.
The standard of display is the
best I have seen in the UK.”
The forest school is absolutely
fantastic! It’s incredibly well
organised with such friendly
staff/volunteers. It’s one of
the very best activities in the
area for toddlers and I will
be recommending it to all …
the cherry on the top of an
outstanding place to visit all
round.”
Our Spectral Vision
, by
Liz West, at the
Seurat
to Riley: The Art of
Perception
exhibition
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
44 | COMPTON VERNEY ART GALLERY & PARK
Thenewcultural organisation would
be within a one and a half hour drive
of 50 per cent of England’s population,
albeit in a rural setting.
Our founder wanted to extend an
invitation to all, to demystify art and
to “open doors but not push people
through”. He aimed for high standards
in the works of art, their quality,
conservation and display, in line with
national and international galleries –
and an accessible, inclusive, generous
approach, in keeping with his gift. He
challenged the staff to be innovative
and to experiment and was open to
change in the ways his vision would
beenacted.
The six collections donated to
Compton Verney were intended to
complement those in national and
regional museums. Spanning high and
popular art, each focused on an area
considered to be under-represented in
the national collection. Our remarkable
British Folk Art Collection, which
was assembled by art dealer Andras
Kalman, often provides a doorway to
enjoyment of art as people recognise
items from their own family history,
and understand that everyone can
be an artist, creating beauty from
textiles, shop signs and farming tools.
These objects are instantly accessible
and engaging and appeal to people
directly, without too much explanation.
Four of the collections represent Sir
Peter’s own enthusiasms: Paintings
from Naples 1600 to 1800, Northern
European Art 1450 to 1650, British
Portraits from 1585 and ancient
Chinese Bronzes and Ceramics.
Compton Verney was bequeathed
the Marx and Lambert collection
of modern design and popular art.
Temporary exhibitions of historic and
contemporary art, architecture and
design were central to the concept,
to attract new and repeat visits,
with education programmes and
commissions from artists.
Compton Verney was opened formally
by HRH Prince Charles in March
2004 after more than ten years
of restoration and remodelling by
architects Stanton Williams. The vision,
charm of the place and the quality and
ambition of the programme met with
excitement and critical acclaim from
the outset.
Fulfilling the vision
Fifteen years after opening, Compton
Verney has welcomed over a million
visitors, increasing annual visits from
38,000 in 2008 to more than 90,000.
This young organisation is cherished
by visitors, artists, staff and the many
volunteers who form our extended
family. We have a national and
international reputation for imaginative
programmes across art and nature.
We are known for our warm welcome,
high quality of visitor experience and
for the enchantment of the place.
The strategy has been to grow and
diversify visitor numbers and to raise
the profile of Compton Verney through
exciting exhibitions, dynamic collection
displays, learning programmes,
community outreach and a focus on
the landscape as well as art.
Folk art collection,
Compton Verney
Adventures in the
forest school
We are known
for our warm
welcome, high
quality of
visitor
experience
and for the
enchantment
of the place
45COMPTON VERNEY ART GALLERY & PARK |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
It is a young gallery in an old house.
Opened just 15 years ago, I took over
as director this year. From the start, I
could see that what had been created
was a place for people to explore art,
to find their own joy in it. The warmth
of our staff and volunteers stems from
the instructions our founder Sir Peter
Moores left; he wanted the staff to be
creative and inventive so that people
could access art in a way that was
fulfilling for them. Now, this is a truly
magical place filled with inspiration,
tranquility and, above all else, fun.
Alongside the continuing development
of the galleries and grounds, the
chapel has been restored and is a
venue for weddings, our acclaimed
volunteer scheme is expanding,
the women’s library opened and a
corporate hire business was launched.
Partnerships have been built with
museums, galleries and universities
as well as organisations like the BBC,
the RSC, the Alzheimer’s Society and
the British Army. Our links with local
community groups are expanding
to offer support for children and
the elderly by supporting education,
tackling loneliness and encouraging
mental wellbeing.
Compton Verney has benefited from
the lottery, through the National
Lottery Heritage Fund. In 2018
we became a National Portfolio
Organisation of Arts Council England,
with a focus on being a leader in
commissioning art in the landscape.
The recently introduced museums and
galleries tax relief has been helpful.
While many regional museums have
seen a reduction in curatorial staff,
we have maintained our vision to
share our specialist knowledge and
passion for art with the widest public,
encouraging the artist that is in
everyone. We have modelled all eight
of the areas for recommended action
highlighted in the Mendoza Review of
Museums in England (2017).
Challenge and opportunity
A challenge is that although the
endowment left by Sir Peter is an
immense asset, we depend on earned
income for all our programme costs
and at the moment the organisation is
not able to replenish that endowment
from earned income. With fixed
costs rising every year, an ever more
entrepreneurial approach is needed,
with even more creativity in involving
and engaging our communities.
The biggest challenge for cultural
organisations is to be relevant
and inclusive, relating to diverse
communities and sparking a sense
of meaning and purpose in those
who engage with them, on their
ownterms.
Compton Verney was founded on
a spirit of generosity by a lover of
art. What is needed now from the
government is more incentives for
philanthropists, an endorsement of the
importance of the arts in education
– and effective action to protect
the environment. The wellbeing
and creativity of people of all ages
have never been more important.
If the happiness of the population
is a measure of the success of a
government, Compton Verney has a
strong role to play in delivering that
ineffable sense of wellbeing.
It is amazing,
uplifting and,
above all, fun
Sir Peter Moores
Founder
»VISITOR COMMENTS
Compton Verney’s dazzling
exhibition is how all shows
should be done.” Waldemar
Januszczak,
The Times
Our visit to Compton Verney
was an unexpected pleasure.
[The exhibition] was superb,
beautifully presented but
we were bowled over by the
permanent collection.
The standard of display is the
best I have seen in the UK.”
The forest school is absolutely
fantastic! It’s incredibly well
organised with such friendly
staff/volunteers. It’s one of
the very best activities in the
area for toddlers and I will
be recommending it to all …
the cherry on the top of an
outstanding place to visit all
round.”
Our Spectral Vision
, by
Liz West, at the
Seurat
to Riley: The Art of
Perception
exhibition

www.comptonverney.org.uk

This article was sponsored by Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster