Wednesday 26 May 2010

A Cultural Outing

You might be forgiven for thinking that the West Midlands is a cultural wasteland with nothing more than Ozzy Osbourne, heavy metal music and our rubbish accents to set us apart from the rest of the UK but you'd be wrong. Walsall is home to probably the finest collection of publicly-owned art in the country, housed in the impressive National Lottery-funded £21million "New Art Gallery".

Walsall-born Katherine Garman was married to Jacob Epstein and on her death bequeathed their impressive private collection to the townsfolk. We have original Picasso, Matisse,Van Gogh, Epstein, Pissaro, Constable and Goyas by the bucketload and what's more, it's all free. 
A great way of spending a couple of hours.

One of the most unforgetable pieces has to be this 1882 sketch "Sorrow" by Vincent Van Gogh. It was of pregnant artist's model, Sien, who had just been abandoned by her lover.

Epstein's bronze of Rabindranath Tagore is extremely powerful and his intense wisdom seems to radiate through the sculpture. 

There's lots of modern installations, too....

...thought provoking!

Boozle-sozzled hedonists we may be but we do enjoy a bit of culture.

Anyway, enough of the high-brow stuff, what am I wearing today?

Vintage moss crepe frock found in a charity shop last year for £1.95 worn over hand-made ripped leggings, some high-heeled gladiator sandals, a 1960's suede waistcoat and my late Grandmother's Victorian carpet bag topped off with a heap of ethnic jewellery.


  1. I'd love to visit that gallery some time. Am I right in thinking that Noddy Holder does the announcements in the lift??

  2. What a lovely day - that sorrow sketch is incredible! Lucky you having all of that on your doorstep and for free!
    I do hope the Noddy holder in the lift thing is true - that made me smile.
    p.s. you look fab as always, especially love your clever leggings!
    Kandi xx

  3. Oh yes, Miss Peelpants, Noddy certainly does do the lift announcements, it's worth a visit just to experience his voice!

  4. Ohh I love a good art gallery, especially a freebie. Noted with thanks for any future trip to the Middles. Please let that Noddy Holder lift thing be true, it might possible be worth a trip solely for that.

    Loving the layers, the leggings under the dress seem a simple but ingenious way to outwit this temperamental weather.

    Hope you are doing well, you are looking fabulous xx

  5. Looks a fab day out, I love any sort of art gallery. Could spend loads of time wondering around!

    Lovely outfit, that bag rocks.

    X xx

  6. Love those sandals. The Van Gogh picture is just beautiful. xxx

  7. Love ur grogeous outfit and please, please can you post a closeup of ur bag?? it looks really interesteing

  8. I would never have known about that gallery if it hadn't of been for reading thing. I'm glad it's not only London that has all the top notch pieces of art. I love the Laing Gallery in Newcastle, gorgeous collections in a lovely lovely building.

  9. I love those shoes! Am becoming increasingly envious of your shoe collection!! Love that thought provoking modern peice.

  10. "Booze-soddled hedonists" - I love it! That's exactly what I aspire to be! Love this dress on you and also your hair pushed behind your ear on one side, a v glam and sexy look. xx

  11. Noddy Holder? Now I REALLY want to go! xx

  12. Vix,
    You are looking artfully fab my dear ;)
    Art galleries & museums are so inspiring & I think it’s blooming great that a lot of them don’t charge an admission fee but I wonder for how much longer this will be the case?
    With all these brutal government public-spending cuts, like the one that will deprive thousands of a university place for instance, surely free culture for the masses will go the way of the Dodo too :(
    Here’s an excerpt from ‘The Independent’ Monday, 18 June 2007:
    “Senior figures from politics, education and the arts leapt to defend free admission to Britain's most famous museums and galleries after a senior Tory suggested that charges could be reintroduced.”
    I wonder what stance Nick Clegg & his Lib chums takes on this issue?

  13. I just don't know how you do it!!This look is so inspired!!!Gorg frock,and I,too,would like a close up on that carpet bag!!
    It is a lot of fun to have a cultural expeditition from time to time.Totally worth while!From booze sozzled to cultrally addled and back again!Hurrah!!!
    LOVE Helga XXX

  14. Ooh that gallery is on my list of places to visit - a very fine building - is that really true about Noddy Holder?

    PS you forgot to mention Duran Duran!

  15. What can I say, the dress, the leggings, the shoes! perfection! I so love to hear about where u come from and forgive a nutty American if I am so interested :). I so want to travel and be well-rounded. I'd love to see the art, but I love any kind of art, especially crayon drawings from children (I used to teach a class at a women's shelter called "Creative Expression"). I had tons of drawings on my fridge and miss the girls and their kids so much. When I hit the lotto, I'll be there for good :)( Europe ). I'd love to hear more about where ur from, as I am not aware of the cultural differences so much. I would be considered a "hillbilly" ( barefoot and preggers ) if I still lived in Kentucky, now a "yank" as I live a couple hundred miles away! Silly, really!

  16. by the way, I thrive to be a booze-sottled hedonist !( we live in an old part of the city, where church and racism still thrive, but hey, the rent was cheap!) If u travel up the road a bit, u hit the North Side/ University Heights where art, individualism, and being yourself is praised and somewhat expected! I am considered the nutty cat lady who grows dandilions instead of grass ;)

  17. This whole post is fascinating! You, my dear, fit the scene of art museum quite spectacularly! I truly envy your sense of style. Each item you wear (and carry) here blend into one dynamic statement.

  18. that vincent van vogh's sketch is beautiful..the sorrow-ness is really coming through it..
    great blog!

  19. Love this look. I think it is my favorite of yours yet. You look just so chic and elegant and cool and unique! Perfect!

    And OH THAT MUSEUM SOUNDS AWESOME! If I am ever in your part of the world I MUST GO!

  20. It's a fab gallery - I loved it when I visited a few years ago - thank you so much for bringing it to wider attention! (loved your outfit too!)

  21. i love this outfit! it's my favourite so far! :D

    {no, it's not about birds}

  22. Sounds like a fantastic day. I like to play tourist in Glasgow when I'm there even though I lived there for years I love exploring its rich culture and heritage.

    Those heeled glads are gorgeous!


  23. Dammit, my daughter lives in Walsall. I'll take her to the Art Gallery. How did I forget? The waistcoat really makes that look!

  24. Love this outfit, Vix, specially the shoes. Who knew such culture existed in Walsall - it sounds like a brilliant place to visit.

  25. always adore getting comments from you, following back!

    Your lovely, truly!

    Cheers, Jesa

  26. My gawd! I have missed out on waaay too many posts.
    But i looked through all of them.
    The jodhpur inspired pants are my favourite <3


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Lots of love, Vix