1961 - ?


Arnolfini Gallery is an international arts centre and gallery in Bristol which was founded in 1961 by Jeremy Martin Rees (8 May 8 1937-12 December 2003) with his wife Annabel Lawson and the painter John Orsborn, on the first-floor premises above a bookshop in Triangle West, close to the City Art Gallery and the Royal West of England Academy, the name of the gallery was taken from Jan van Eyck's 15th-century painting The Arnolfini Portrait. It moved to Queen Square, before moving to its present location, Bush House, Narrow Quay on Bristol's waterfront in 1975 and was refurbished and redeveloped in 1989 and again in 2005 with the old warehouse being redeveloped by adding an attic storey. Rees continued to direct the Arnolfini until 1986, after which he worked as an arts management consultant, advising Ipswich borough council on a characteristically ambitious scheme, sadly unfulfilled, for a European visual arts centre. Arnolfini now occupies the lower three floors and basement on Bristol's waterfront, and the upper floors are leased, and one tenant is the School of Creative Arts, part of the University of the West of England. Originally dedicated to exhibiting the work of artists from the West of England and, under the directorship of Barry Barker, the gallery moved towards a more general spread of contemporary art. Artists whose work has been exhibited include Bridget Riley (born 1931), Rachel Whiteread (born 1963), Richard Long (born 1945) and Jack Butler Yeats (1871-1957) and Suffolk artists who have exhibited at the Arnolfini Gallery include Les Bicknell, Judith Foster, Diana Howard and Michael Oelman.