Of This Earth
01 Nov 2014 – 22 Nov 2014
The Yarrow Gallery
Oundle, United Kingdom
The Yarrow Building was opened in 1918 on the first Speech Day after the war ended. The money for its erection, £2,000, had been given by Mr A. F. Yarrow, later Sir Alfred, in memory of his son, Eric, who was killed on 8th May 1915 at Ypres. A portrait of Eric hangs on the south wall.
As the building could not be erected immediately, owing to the war, the Headmaster, F W Sanderson, had a substantial period of time in which to develop his aims for its use. "The object of the Museum is to make it possible to extend the work already begun in the Art Room". However, as a scientist, he also wanted the methods of research and experiment to be extended to all areas of the curriculum, and thus the museum should house a collection of pictures, specimens and models to illustrate "the history, development and beauty of the various branches of knowledge". The genealogical tree of the aeroplane and the Durham miner were charted and exhibits such as the skeleton of the white horse which used to draw the School ambulance to the Sanatorium were featured. Part of the plan was to establish a small botanical garden close to the building, the only traces of which surround the Peter Scott statue in the Chapel gardens.
In 1970 the bottom floor of the building was lined with a white stud wall to create a permanent exhibition space and the tradition of staging exhibitions of professional artists was started. These were used as teaching exhibitions as well as enriching the cultural diet of the School and local community. At present there are five or six major exhibitions a year, including the highly popular A Level show each July.
Major restoration work was undertaken 2013. The interior was stripped to reveal the original oak panels which were cleaned and lightened. The display area was redesigned on the ground floor and the gallery upstairs was opened up to provide further exhibition space. It is now one of the most attractive galleries in East Anglia. The space is adaptable and suitable for activities such as poetry readings, plays and small concerts as well as exhibitions.