Methodist Collection comes to Bewdley

13 March 2020

 A selection of art from the internationally renowned Methodist Modern Art Collection, one of the UK’s most significant collections of modern religious art, will be on display in the Wyre Forest Gallery at Bewdley Museum each day from Saturday 21 March until Sunday 19 April 2020.

Opening hours are 11.00am to 3.00pm and admission is free.  The exhibition is to go ahead despite the flooding which occurred in the town a few week’s ago.

Twenty works have been chosen for the exhibition depicting scenes from different stages of the life of Jesus before focussing on his crucifixion and resurrection. The artists include famous names from the British art world of the last hundred years alongside some contemporary artists. Some artists were or are Christian, while others not, but together they offer widely differing perspectives on the Christian story. A programme of exciting creative events, including workshops, talks, reflections and projects with local schools and art groups, has been planned over the duration of the exhibition. Full details can be found at www.forallpeoplebewdley.com.

The Collection came about after two Methodist people collected works of art in the 1960’s as a way to open up conversations about faith. They gave the Collection to the British Methodist Church and additional works have been bought or commissioned with money given specifically for the purpose.

The total Collection features fifty works, including some by well-known artists such as Graham Sutherland, Elisabeth Frink, William Roberts, and Maggi Hambling. Since last summer the Methodist Modern Art Collection has been removed from public display to undergo major rejuvenation work. The planned conservation is returning these important paintings to their full glory and will ensure that they are framed and provided with suitable travelling cases to protect them. 

This exhibition has been organised by Bewdley Churches Together, an ecumenical grouping, comprising Bewdley Methodist Church, Bewdley Baptist Church, Holy Family Catholic Church, Riverside Elim Church, Bewdley Quakers and four Church of England congregations. It is financially supported by various local organisations: St. George’s Hall Trustees, Abberton Spire Fund, Bewdley Civic Society, Bewdley Development Trust, Helen Rachael Mackaness Charitable Trust, Bewdley Town Council, Bewdley Methodist Church, and St. Anne’s Church, Bewdley.

Jim Ineson from Bewdley Churches Together commented “It is a privilege to have this Collection here in Bewdley. The works that we have on display offer a thought provoking and sometimes challenging perspective on Christ’s life. Whether you are a person of faith or not, Christian or non-Christian, you will find yourself challenged in intriguing new ways through this exhibition appropriately called `For All People’.”

The remainder of the pieces from the collection are still undergoing restoration