Back from a short break that included a visit to the Reina Sofia Gallery in Madrid to see the collection including Picasso's 'Guernika' - so much better displayed than it was in the Prado - and also its wonderful collection of early and mid-twentieth century Spanish art, that I know Dave would have loved.
During these last couple of weeks the Dave Pearson Trust has been honoured to be one of the partners in the group that are negotiating with Rossendale Borough Council to manage Rossendale Museum in Whitaker Park, Rawtenstall. This museum is at quite the other end of the scale from the Prado or the Reina Sofia but not without its charm.
Things have moved very quickly and there's still much to be negotiated, but we're currently working with the Friends of the Museum to keep it open. The closure is one of the victims of the cuts being forced on to local authorities, and this scenario is probably being repeated up and down the country. Rossendale Museum is a much-loved, but sadly not much visited, local museum containing a typical combination of stuffed animals, local history artefacts, worthy paintings of ancient local dignitaries and gloomy Victorian rooms. Amongst the collection are some real gems, and there is potential to turn it into an exhilarating and special place which, along with a coffee-shop and revitalised displays, could secure a great future for it. It is also situated in a lovely setting and we're very excited to be associated with this attempt to save, and re-galvanise, a part of Rossendale's heritage.
As part of this, Julian Williams and Jackie Taylor of the See Gallery (leading partners in the rescue bid) have put together - in record time - an exhibition of some of Dave's drawings and 'Bestiary' paintings in the upstairs galleries at the Museum. If you want to come along they will be on show, along with the rest of the Museum, over the next few weekends between 1.00 and 4.30pm