Southampton City Art Gallery is sited in the North Wing of Southampton’s Civic Centre complex of municipal buildings, constructed in the 1930s and designed in classical revival style by E. Berry Webber
The Civic Centre survived the bombing blitz of the following decade – allegedly on account of its clock tower, which served as landmark for the incoming German bombers.
The art gallery holds a permanent collection of over 5,300 works of art, with emphasis on local and British artists.
When I visited part of the gallery was closed for refurbishment but there was still a lot to see, such as Edward Burne-Jones‘ Perseus series and David Baker‘s photographic exhibition on Southampton Common.
The gallery’s main exhibition was ‘Roger Mayne and St Ives’, bringing Roger Mayne’s photographs into dialogue with various paintings and portraits of the St Ives School in order to trace that art group’s sustained influence on the photographer’s work.
I didn’t spot the Alfred Sisley painting and so asked Caroline on reception if she knew where it was. Caroline told me that due to gallery renovations the painting was not currently on display, but that it should be up for viewing again soon.
I then told Caroline about what I was doing and she gave to the montage a purple eraser and told me to go wind up Laura at Tudor House by ask[ing] to see the garden after 4:30pm!
I asked Caroline whether she had a favourite painting in the gallery’s collection and she told me she’s fond of Sir Tristam by Christopher Le Brun.