The Picturecraft Gallery
The Picturecraft Gallery opened in 1972 and has continued to evolve over four decades to meet the needs and expectations of professional artists and collectors of original fine art. The gallery is recognised as one of East Anglia’s most impressive venues showcasing the work by some of the UK’s most prestigious Painters, Institutes, Societies and Federations.
The gallery layout has changed several times over the years to meet the needs and expectations of artists, but back in 1972 it was considered a highly unusual and extremely ambitious venture. A unique display system was developed in 1982 to introduce an entirely new concept of exhibiting at the Picturecraft Gallery. Following the implementation of this initiative the gallery gained tremendous recognition through the National Westminster Bank’s business award scheme. In 1991 the gallery won the prestigious Gold Award for Merchandising and the publicity generated significant interest and assisted in raising Picturecraft’s profile to entirely new levels. The policy of renting space to an artist as opposed to taking commission on the sale of a painting has since been copied by a number of galleries in the UK.
The gallery’s standard display system also incorporates a secondary method of exhibiting where the gallery can be quickly transformed into an extensive exhibition venue. Initially, curtains were used but these were subsequently replaced with vertical blinds when Picturecraft undertook a refurbishment programme to enlarge and modify the gallery in 2003. The two display systems remain in practice and present opportunities for Picturecraft to host specialist one-man shows and Society events throughout the year.
Today the Picturecraft Art Gallery is owned and managed by Adrian Hill, the third generation of the family who continues to introduce new ideas and initiatives to further the gallery’s prominence and reputation in the world of art.
The harmonious business association with Halsgrove Publishing has resulted in several book launches being combined with major exhibitions at the Picturecraft Gallery. Two particularly successful events were ‘Lost Norfolk Landscapes’ by Horace Tuck, a tutor at Norwich School of Art from 1920 – 1939, and ‘Norfolk’s Hidden Landscapes’ by Felix Bernasconi ARCA, where the book and exhibition was only made possible after a collection of paintings were salvaged from almost certain destruction after Felix Bernasconi’s death in 2001.
In 2009, Halsgrove entrusted Michael Hill and Adrian Hill with their first joint publishing venture recording the life story of Peter Gilman entitled ‘Painting East Anglia & Beyond’. The book was launched to coincide with a retrospective exhibition of previously unseen original works released by Peter Gilman’s daughter. Further titles by Adrian Hill were released by Halsgrove books featuring two local professional artists, ‘Enchanted Light’ for Tony Garner and ‘Painting Atmospheric Landscapes’ for Brian Ryder ROI. Michael and Adrian Hill were also invited to assist in the production of “Coming to Light” for Kieron Williamson, the 11-year old child artist who has taken the art world by storm.
Over the last 40 years the Picturecraft Gallery has earned tremendous recognition in arranging and presenting major exhibitions. The gallery is an impressive venue and looks at its best when transformed into the format for a major exhibition, and these events attract customers and visitors from far afield. It is not unusual to see queues forming just before a major exhibition opens.
Many individual artists have enjoyed considerable success through staging one-man exhibitions at Picturecraft, but in recent years the gallery has attracted significant interest by institutions, federations groups and societies who have been encouraged to consider exhibiting outside London. Highly prestigious exhibitions that have already taken place include the Federation of Motoring Artists (FMA); The Society of Women Artists (SWA); The Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI); The Wapping Group of Painters (WG); The Institute of East Anglian Artists (IEA) and the Pastel Society (PS).
A blue plaque outside the gallery’s entrance door commemorates L. S. Lowry’s visit to the gallery on 8th August 1973.
FREE ADMISSION AND FULLY ACCESSIBLE FOR WHEELCHAIR VISITORS
Open daily: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday – Saturday
Opening hours: 09.00 – 17.00 inclusive
(NOTE: THURSDAY 09.00 – 13.00 ONLY)
23 Lees Yard
off Bull Street
Norfolk NR25 6HS
Telephone: 01263 711040