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“A criminal way to treat Alfred Wallis.”
Review of Pier Arts Centre

Pier Arts Centre
Ranked #7 of 27 things to do in Stromness
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Pier Arts Centre in Orkney was established in 1979 to provide a home for an important collection of British fine art donated by Margaret Gardiner (1904 - 2005). Alongside the permanent collection The Pier Arts Centre curates a year round programme of temporary exhibitions and events for the education and enjoyment of the general public.
Reviewed 6 May 2014

I was looking forward to seeing the collection of paintings by Alfred Wallis, but was appalled to find that his 'Against Longships Fog' was bathed in hot, strong sunlight from an unshaded roof skylight. I spoke to a member of staff and explained that the sunlight would (a) fade the picture and (b) crack and degrade the paint. She seemed totally unperturbed, and said 'we close the blinds at night' and 'we like the gallery to be nice and light'. When I pressed the issue, she phoned a colleague and explained my concerns. I stayed in the gallery for twenty minutes, but during that time nothing was done to alleviate the situation. Is this the way to treat one of our greatest naive artists? Of course it isn't, but the callous disregard that was heaped on Wallis during his life appears to be alive and well at the Pier Arts Centre, Stromness.

1  Thank benson3048
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IainCurrie, digital coordinator at Pier Arts Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 10 May 2014

We care deeply about the work of Alfred Wallis (1855 – 1942) and about the care we offer to all the artworks in our collection. We care deeply about the experience visitors to the gallery enjoy and are very sorry that on this occasion that expectation has not been met.

As reassurance: the windows and picture glazing are filter coated to reduce harmful ultra-violet rays; works are regularly rotated and rested in storage; the painting Against Longships Fog is an oil painting, the least fugitive paint medium; the work has another image on the reverse (extending the period of rest for each image); records show the work to be stable against earliest condition checks. Natural light falls on this area only for a limited period annually; blinds are in place for such circumstances and should have been used; we have reviewed procedures in light of your observation and of course we are pleased that you enjoyed one of Orkney’s more sunny days. You can contact us directly through info@pierartscentre.com.

Neil Firth, Director

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Reviews (141)
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101 - 105 of 141 reviews

Reviewed 15 April 2014

As I live within 10 miles of this attraction I often drop in to see the ever-changing art and display. The architecture and position in the picturesque town of Stromness raise your spirits before you see the art. The patrons successfully strive to intrigue and entertain. This free activity is surely worth a donation. There often children's activities available as well.

Thank Bobby F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2014

the permanent exhibition is interesting and there is often very different exhibitions. Lovely building and don't miss the view from the windows

Thank Martins012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2013

World class art - some pieces I remember from the Edinburgh Modern Art Gallery were on show...it is a lovely building and the collection was well thought out and quite thought provoking. An unexpected delight!

Thank GordonMackie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

Excellent facility for displaying art in a beautiful location. Not afraid to exhibit some of the more obscure art works, as well as the more "traditional". Such a lovely space.

Thank Orkneycat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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