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The Family in British Art

Jan Steen kitchen, by John Leaman
Thursday 2 February 2012 - Sunday 29 April 2012

Families are for life, not just for Christmas. Love them or loathe them, we can’t help but be deeply shaped by the people closest to us.

Throughout the history of British art, the experience of family life and its impact on who we are has provided rich inspiration for artists. This new exhibition brings together both historic and contemporary art to illustrate the changing portrayal of family in Britain over the centuries. From formal portraits of powerful families, long before the dawn of photography, to the self-expression of more recent times, The Family in British Art shows that images inspired by our families have always been some of our most revealing.

The exhibition features paintings, photography, film and sculpture from a host of great names of British art, including Thomas Gainsborough, William Hogarth, David Hockney, Martin Parr, Tracey Emin and Rachel Whiteread. Images from national galleries such as Tate, V&A, and the National Portrait Gallery will be shown alongside work from Sheffield’s own art collection.

View a Flickr slideshow of some of the images featured in the exhibition below:

Or see what visitors to date thought of the exhibition in this short video:

The Family in British Art was created by Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service as part of the The Great British Art Debate – a partnership project between TateBritain, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service and Museums Sheffield.
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  • William John Stevenson, River Don at Wardsend, Sheffield, 1875 © Museums Sheffield
  • Unknown artist, View of Sheffield from Sharrow Moor, c1838 © Museums Sheffield
  • Thomas Creswick, Hillsborough, Sheffield, c19th century © Museums Sheffield
  • Maurice de Sausmarez, Lodge Moor in the Evening, Sheffield, 1941 © the artist's estate
  • Mandy Payne, Paradise Lost © the artist
  • Jonathan Wilkinson, The Egg Box © the artist
  • JMW Turner, View of Sheffield from Derbyshire Lane, 1797 © Guild of St George & Museums Sheffield
  • Jack Kettell, Rebuilding a Blast Furnace, 1964-65 © the artist's estate
  • Henry Rushbury, Snig Hill from Angel Street, 1941 © the artist's estate
  • Derrick Greaves, Sheffield, 1953 © Derrick Greaves, courtesy James Hyman Gallery, London
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