The museum is home to the largest collection of German Expressionist art outside Germany. In 1944 Trevor Thomas, director of the museum, curated an exhibition that drew upon the collections of recent émigrés, Alfred Hess and the art historian, Dr Rosa Schapire.
Following the exhibition, the museum purchased a number of works by the artists Franz Marc, Emil Nolde and Max Pechstein. In 1975 the acquisition of modern German art was permanently written into the museum’s collecting policy.
Other themes within the collection range from works of the Old Masters to a selection of prints by Albrecht Dürer. There are a number of 20th-century pieces by Walter Sickert, Stanley Spencer and Francis Bacon. Most recently the gallery has acquired Rosalind Nashashibi’s film work The State of Things through the Contemporary Art Society’s acquisitions scheme.
New Walk exhibits a diverse mix of ceramics and decorative objects from across the globe. The recently opened ‘Our World Through Art’ galleries display a regularly changing selection of work from the museum’s permanent collection.
Squeeze your way through the hotchpotch of themed displays and you will come to the large, bright, skylit gallery at the heart of the building, displaying works from the prized German Expressionist collection and much more — a very pleasing discovery.