Grayson Perry - The Vanity of Small Differences 

23. Aug - 7. Dec 14 / ends in 45 days Temple Newsam House

Exhibition | Multi-disciplinary | North


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Cropped image of Grayson Perry, The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal, 2012. Photo:  Stephen White

Cropped image of Grayson Perry, The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal, 2012. Photo: Stephen White



?Temple Newsam House is pleased to announce that The Vanity of Small Differences, a series of six tapestries by Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry, will be on display from August to December this year. Temple Newsam House will be the last UK touring venue in 2014 before the exhibition goes on an international tour supported by the British Council.

The Vanity of Small Differences tells a story of twenty-first century social mobility through the fictional character, Tim Rakewell. Created during the BAFTA winning Channel 4 documentary series All in the Best Possible Taste, they explore Perry?s fascination with British taste and tell a story of class mobility. Perry?s tapestries make direct reference to the series of paintings called A Rake?s Progress by William Hogarth (1697-1764), the work of Hogarth has long been an influence on Perry?s work. The eight paintings in Hogarth?s series tell the story of Tom Rakewell, a young man who inherits a fortune from his father and who thenceforth goes on to squander his inheritance on fashionable pursuits.

At Temple Newsam, historic wall hangings are an integral part of some of the stylistic features set out within over 40 rooms representing many periods and styles. On the ground floor of the House, the Terrace Room displays a pair of large tapestries that illustrate scenes from the story of Moses. Setting Grayson Perry?s six contemporary tapestries in this country house offers a unique context that will not apply anywhere else on the UK tour. The tapestries will hang in 6 adjoining rooms alongside fine art, furniture, wallpaper, ceramics and bed hangings from the 19th century. It is hoped that this will spark further debate about class and taste through time in British society.


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