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The temporary exhibition galleries in the Sainsbury Wing, National Gallery: commission, design and outcome

Hersov, Mary (2017) The temporary exhibition galleries in the Sainsbury Wing, National Gallery: commission, design and outcome. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

The Sainsbury Wing, the National Gallery’s new extension, opened in July 1991. It had the primary aim of providing new galleries for the Early Renaissance collection. It was also intended to give a new outward-looking face for the Gallery with expanded public facilities, including a larger temporary exhibition space. However, this space has been much criticised for its basement location and resulting lack of natural light. The rooms are limited in size and some are irregular in shape which make it difficult to install larger works and to provide enough viewing space for visitors to popular shows. This thesis investigates why the Gallery decided to build this space, why the design was developed and what were the consequences. It looks at the history of temporary exhibitions - the spaces they need in London and abroad. Using archive material and conversations with participants, it pieces together the convoluted story of the building of the temporary exhibition galleries in the Sainsbury Wing. It examines the many briefs, the involvement of the architects, Venturi Scott Brown, and explains how the resulting design developed. It then relates how the Gallery used the space for its expanded exhibitions programme and considers its advantages and disadvantages. In the conclusion, it makes some recommendations for the best way to create new exhibition galleries for the future. The thesis sheds new light on an aspect of institutional history of the Gallery. It provides an original analysis of an area of the Sainsbury Wing which has been little discussed. As a case study for the design of facilities for temporary exhibitions, it underlines the importance of these spaces and analyses the specific needs and requirements.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Philosophy and Art History, School of
Depositing User: Isabelle Hersov
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2017 09:24
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2019 10:54
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/19861

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