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Museums and galleries

From New York to the Black Country: Sculptures gifted to The New Art Gallery Walsall

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Seven artworks by sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959) are now on display for the first time in Walsall having been gifted from institutions in New York.

Three sculptures made from plaster. A statue of Haile Selassie and heads of Pandit Nehru and Rosalyn Tureck.
Three of the works by Sir Jacob Epstein gifted to the Gallery. From left to right Haile Selassie, 1936; Pandit Nehru, 1946 and Rosalyn Tureck, 1956.

Six tinted plaster casts from the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) include depictions of Epstein’s family members as well as Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the First Prime Minister of India following Independence. The MOMA artworks were transferred to the UK with support from Art Fund in 2019, but the pandemic has delayed their conservation and display until this year. They will be kept in perpetuity, alongside the Garman Ryan Collection, and a significant Epstein Archive the Gallery houses.

A sculpture of the violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin which came from the Jewish Museum in New York has also gone on display to complement the rest of the series.

“ The Gallery holds almost 4000 artworks in its collections spanning age and genre. They are a jewel in the Black Country’s crown. We are immensely proud that we can provide a home for these important artworks by Epstein. “

Councillor Gary Flint, Portfolio holder for Wellbeing, Leisure and Public Spaces at Walsall Council.

“ The Epstein Estate are delighted that Kathleen Garman’s wishes for her husband’s works to remain in a public collection are being fulfilled, and retained alongside the Garman Ryan Collection, which she co-created. It’s poignant that these works have been transferred from New York, Epstein’s birthplace, to Walsall, just a few miles from where Kathleen was born. “

Julie Brown, Collections Curator at The New Art Gallery Walsall.

The newly acquired artworks can be seen on Floor 1 of the Gallery. On Saturday 2 March the Gallery will hold a free in-person tour exploring the plasters.



Notes to Editors


Collections Curator Tour: in focus on Epstein plasters Saturday 2 March, 2-3pm. Free. Free tours of the Gallery’s Collections take place every first Saturday of the month, 2-3pm.

Gift of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York. Works by Sir Jacob Epstein received. Acquired with support from Art Fund:

  • Haile Selassie (1892-1975), 1936 (Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930-1974)
  • Pandit Nehru (1889-1964), 1946 (First Prime Minister of India following Independence, 1950-1964)
  • Robert Flaherty (1884-1951), 1933 (American filmmaker)
  • Leda (with coxcomb), 1940 (Epstein’s granddaughter by his eldest child, Peggy-Jean, who had been brought up by Epstein and his wife Margaret, but whose biological mother was in fact his model, Meum.)
  • Isobel Nicholas (1912-1992), 1933 (Artist, model and the biological mother of Epstein’s youngest child, Jackie, who was raised by Epstein and Margaret.)
  • Rosalyn Tureck (1913-2003), 1956 (American pianist)

Also, Head of Yehudi Menuhin, 1943, plaster cast of head, transfer from the Jewish Museum, New York. Further information on The New Art Gallery Walsall’s Collections can be found at:


About the Epstein Archive

The Epstein archive was formed in 1996 as a partner collection to the Garman Ryan Collection and the Garman Ryan Epstein Collection. It consists of photographs, letters, catalogues and digital material relating to Jacob Epstein, Kathleen Garman, their family and friends. It also contains material relating to artists whose work is represented in the Garman Ryan Collection. The archive is intended to be a resource for researchers and acts as a secure repository with appropriate legal restrictions for items deposited by donors and lenders. It also supports the development of interpretation around the collections and the work of Jacob Epstein.


About The New Art Gallery Walsall

The New Art Gallery Walsall presents, collects and interprets historic, modern and contemporary art in innovative and challenging ways, welcoming visitors from all over the globe as well as our immediate locality. They aim to increase the understanding and enjoyment of arts and culture through a dynamic exhibition, education and events programme. The New Art Gallery Walsall is funded by revenue support from Walsall Council and Arts Council England. The New Art Gallery Walsall is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. Open: Tuesday – Saturday 10am-5pm; Sundays 12-4pm. Closed Mondays and Bank Holidays. Free admission



Art Fund

Art Fund is the national charity for art, helping museums and people to share in great art and culture for 120 years. Art Fund raises millions of pounds every year to help the UK’s museums, galleries and historic houses. The charity funds art, enabling the UK’s museums to buy and share exciting works, connect with their communities, and inspire the next generation. It builds audiences, with its National Art Pass opening doors to great culture. And it amplifies the museum sector through the world’s largest museum prize, Museum of the Year, and creative events that bring the UK’s museums together. Art Fund is people-powered by 135,000 members who buy a National Art Pass, and the donors, trusts and foundations who support the charity. The National Art Pass provides free or discounted entry to over 850 museums, galleries and historic places, 50% off major exhibitions, and Art Quarterly magazine.


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