Oo la la!

Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery has successfully used crowdfunding to help bring a major exhibition to the city.

Next February the gallery will bring the sights, sounds and delights of artist Toulouse-Lautrec’s thrilling Bohemian Paris to modern-day Bath thanks to support from Arts Council England; Art Happens, Art Fund’s crowdfunding platform; and the Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery.

The exhibition, Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre, and an exciting programme of events and activities, will be grant aided by £39,670 from the Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants; £12,049 from Art Happens, Art Fund’s crowd-funding platform; and a contribution of £11,400 from the Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery.

Toulouse-Lautrec, Jane Avril – Jardin de Paris, photo © Musée d’Ixelles-Bruxelles / Courtesy of Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

With this financial support, the Gallery will be able to bring more than 80 rare colour lithographic posters from their usual home on the European continent to Bath. To bring them to life, there will be workshops for community groups including dance activities for people with dementia, printing workshops for young people with special educational needs, and an opportunity for Bath carers to help curate an element of the exhibition.

Evening events unique to this exhibition will echo the joie de vivre of the Belle Époque and Toulouse-Lautrec’s Paris. These will feature music and entertainment to celebrate how visual art, music and dance were intertwined in this thrilling era. The Gallery will give everyone the chance to participate, with a multilingual audio guide, music from the era, a display of personal items from the performers, and a dressing up area.

The Victoria Art Gallery will be the only place in the UK to host this special exhibition.

Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services at Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “We are grateful to Arts Council England, everyone who donated to the Art Happens campaign, and the Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery. Their generous support makes it possible for us to put on this spectacular exhibition next year.”

Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre will open on 15 February and run until 27 May 2020.