An iconic sculpture is returning to Bluecoat 86 years after it was first displayed there thanks to a Crowdfunder campaign.
Jacob Epstein’s ‘Genesis’ statue attracted 49,687 people during its controversial first appearance at the Liverpool city centre arts hub in 1931.
The dramatic sculpture of a heavily pregnant woman will be unveiled again during a public preview on Thursday evening (12 October) as part of Bluecoat’s ‘In the Peaceful Dome’ exhibition, which is the finale of the venue’s celebratory programme to mark 300 years of the building.
On loan from The Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, the appearance of the artwork has been made possible after the Crowdfunder exceeded its £5,000 target to raise £5,386.
‘Genesis’ is considered an important part of Bluecoat’s history as its original display generated more than £1,000 – a considerable sum in the 1930s – at a time when the custodians of the building, the Bluecoat Society of Arts, struggled to finance its upkeep.
The many thousands of people who visited to see Jacob Epstein’s piece each paid sixpence to view the exhibition, which was borne out of an idea by the Sandon Studios Society arts group at the centre of the building to help boost funds.
Ahead of the launch of ‘In the Peaceful Dome’, which will be open until 25 March 2018, Bluecoat’s artistic director Bryan Biggs says: “Genesis’ return to Bluecoat is really exciting. It’s a really significant part of our history and had such an impact in the city when first shown. Now displayed alongside a rich selection of works by artists of Epstein’s generation as well as new, emerging artists, we are confident that the sculpture will generate debate pertinent to our times.
“The contributions of our supporters via our Crowdfunder campaign have been absolutely vital in bringing the sculpture back to Liverpool, and providing a new generation of visitors with the chance to discover this artwork. We want to thank everyone who donated for their tremendous support. We look forward to welcoming them to the exhibition, and the finale of our 300th anniversary celebrations.”
Additional funds raised through the Crowdfunder campaign, which closed at 5.30pm yesterday (9 October), will go towards family activities inspired by ‘In the Peaceful Dome’.
The public preview on 12 October will open at 6pm.
Images (c) Brian Roberts