The gallery houses the Garman Ryan Collection, donated to the Borough of Walsall in 1972 by Kathleen Garman, wife of the artist Jacob Epstein. this collection is shown alongside historic works from the Walsall Borough Art Collection, which was initiated in 1892.
The rich collection holds modernist works by Augustus John, Modigliani, Gaudier-Brzeska and Lucian Freud, amongst others. As one of the participating galleries in the Contemporary Art Society’s Special Collection Scheme, Walsall has developed its contemporary collection, acquiring a number of important works. Works acquired through the scheme include those by Gavin Turk, Hew Locke, Mike Nelson, Richard Woods, Yinka Shonibare and Rose Finn-Kelcey.
The temporary exhibition programme presents an exciting programme of contemporary work. The gallery also has an artist residency space hosting a number of contemporary artists throughout the year
Stepping into the New Art Gallery Walsall you are immediately transported away from the surrounding town centre. The impressive entrance hall with black flooring leads into impressive gallery spaces where contemporary wooden panelling adds an intimate warmth to the Garman Ryan Collection. The design throughout is a fitting arena for the gallery’s changing programme of contemporary works.