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Treasures from the National Arts Education Archive are revealed at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

13 Apr 2017

Treasures Revealed: Selected From the National Arts Education Archive
NAEA Gallery
15 April–3 September 2017 / Sat–Tues, 11.00–15.00

 
In celebration of Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s (YSP) 40th anniversary in 2017, artists, supporters and volunteers have chosen 40 inspirational objects, collections and ideas from the National Arts Education Archive (NAEA).
 
The NAEA, established in 1985 and now managed by YSP, holds a fascinating collection of artefacts, books, artworks, papers and correspondence that documents developments in art education over the last century. The archive comprises more than 100 catalogued collections including Child Art, Basic Design, A.E.Halliwell and Franz Cizek.
 
Key individuals connected to the Park and with an interest in art education were invited to choose objects from the NAEA that inform, inspire and delight, responding to the question ‘what is your treasure?’. The resulting exhibition, Treasures Revealed, includes selections by author Joanne Harris; artist and agitator Bob and Roberta Smith; politician Yvette Cooper; and artist Hester Reeve.
 
Noted author Joanne Harris selected two fabric works from the Bretton Hall College Textiles Collection made by unknown students in the 1980s. Harris said: “Art has gone through many changes over the centuries, but the art of embroidery has barely changed at all: exuberant; intimate; delicate; often anonymous, humble and always essentially human, it tells the tale of the people who have come before us, speaking directly to us from its place in history, telling its stories, which so often seem also to be our stories, in a clear and quiet voice.”
 
A black and white photograph of Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova (1881–1931) as the Dying Swan, alongside the dancer’s necklace was chosen by YSP volunteer Lorna Sellers: “With a passion for dance and photography, I entered the NAEA hoping to find a special image for the exhibition. However nothing prepared me for the exciting discovery of a folder labeled "Pavlova". Amongst various items inside, I found this wonderful 1907 black and white photograph of world-acclaimed Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova as the Dying Swan. Created for her in 1905, by Russian dancer and choreographer Mikhail (Michel) Fokine, this was to become Pavlova's signature ballet solo and she performed it around 4,000 times. To my further delight I also discovered this beautiful necklace, which had belonged to Pavlova. What other treasures are waiting to be discovered in the NAEA? One can only imagine!”
 
Bob and Roberta Smith, pseudonym of the artist Patrick Brill who received an OBE for services to the arts in the New Year honours list for 2017, selected Don Pavey’s Toy and Art-based Game Collection. The collection features 329 items ranging from games, puzzles and pastimes to a Kinetic-art robot, all used as part of Pavey’s – a post-war teacher – teaching practices.
 
Smith said: “The NAEA is one of the great repositories of material relating to the development of the arts in the post war era. It’s also a place of hope! To look through the material and understand the competing initiatives and investigations by artists and teachers in that period is to recharge one’s batteries.”
 
The exhibition coincides with the introduction of a new site-specific installation, All Schools Should be Art Schools, by Smith. Echoing YSP’s and the NAEA’s continued commitment to the case for creativity in education, the work is a bright, colourful, statement of inspirational intent positioned next to the YSP Learning building.
 
YSP visitors are invited to explore these objects and more by dropping into the exhibition in the NAEA Gallery from Saturday to Tuesday, 11am to 3pm. Visit ysp.org.uk/NAEA for more information and follow #TreasuresRevealed to see some of the objects selected for the exhibition and to find out who selected them and why.

Notes to Editors

The National Arts Education Archive (NAEA) at Yorkshire Sculpture Park was established at Bretton Hall College in 1985. Its inauguration was a direct response to the perceived need for key collections of materials to be brought together in one place; to secure their future as touchstones in the development of teaching and learning; and as an archive for professional reference and research. After 25 years as an independent charitable trust, the NAEA is now managed by YSP. The Archive’s original aims and objectives are in line with YSP’s overall mission, to enable access to, understanding and enjoyment of art. ysp.org.uk/NAEA
 

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Treasures Revealed Press Release

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Courtesy the Don Pavey Collection. Photo © Jonty Wilde

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Bob and Roberta Smith, All Schools Should be Art Schools, 2017. Courtesy the artist and YSP. Photo © Jonty Wilde

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