Dean Clough.

The Dean Clough Collection
Dean Clough by Jake Attree c.1998 Crossleys Carpets painted by Christopher Chamberlain c. 1953
Dean Clough by Jake Attree c.1998

The Dean Clough Collection

The Dean Clough Collection is made up of over 300 art works - most of them paintings, drawings, photographs and similar 2-d formats - that have been amassed over the past 25 years.

Many of the earliest pieces in the collection came from a scheme whereby Dean Clough Studio Artists 'paid' for their rent by donating items: something that proved impractical and was soon abandoned!

Other pieces have been purchased in order to variously assist artists (eg as a way of funding them to mount overseas exhibitions), or have been donated by artists who valued Dean Clough's role in the arts.

The bulk of the items in the collection have been purchased from the hundreds of contemporary shows that Dean Clough has mounted in its galleries over the years. The selection has in most instances been made by the Galleries Curator, Doug Binder.

Doug Binder

Almost by default the collection has come to represent a snapshot of artists' working practice in the North of England since the mid-1980s. It is quite at odds with the media coverage of 'contemporary art': the bulk of it being representative and/or abstract with an emphasis on observation and technique.

The Collection is permanently featured throughout Dean Clough's public spaces, with one corridor gallery in particular (near the Mosaic Gallery) that showcases the finest works.

The latter might include paintings and drawings by Tony Earnshaw (1924-2000), Jeff Nuttall (1933-2004), Willy Tirr (1915-2000), Derek Hyatt (b.1931) and Tom Wood (b.1955); prints by David Hockney (b.1937), and Anthony Davies (b.1947); sculpture by Sir Antony Caro (b.1924), The Art Junkies, Ian Judd and Edward Cronshaw; and photographs by Bill Brandt (1904-1983) and Martin Parr (b.1952).

Sculpture and Installations at Dean Clough

Over the last two decades Dean Clough has amassed various art pieces around its site, not all of them conspicuous.

The Henry Moore Studio has probably left the most significant legacy of works. The brainchild of the late Robert Hopper (erstwhile director of The Henry Moore Institute), the 'Studio' was actually the complete ground floor of 'E-Mill'. Between 1988 And 2003 The Henry Moore Institute funded artists to work in the studio on a large scale and thereby develop their working practice. Some artists chose to create site-specific items during their tenure, namely:

'The Lost Workers, the work people of Halifax 1877-1982' c. 1990 (installation)
SITE: E-Mill basement
DETAILS: 'The Lost Workers' comprises some 30 large cardbox boxes located on filing shelves in the basement of Dean Clough's 'E mill'. Each box is labelled with the name of a previous employee of Crossleys Carpets and contains either a personal item (often in-house magazines, awards, or commemorative items) - or perhaps a photograph supplied by a relative. The piece is analogous to much of Boltanski's oeuvre and is regularly visited by art students. It has made little impression on past Crossleys workers or their families and has been relatively dormant in recent years. Visitors are welcome to peruse the boxes, ideally by appointment although staff will respond to ad hoc requests if time allows.

'Steel Pennies don't come from or go to heaven' (6mx2m cast iron by H Dows & Sons Ltd, Huddersfield 1993)
SITE: On the road outside D Mill (east entrance).
DETAILS: A piece commissioned by the Henry Moore Institute and now sited permanently in the location of what was a weighbridge used by Crossleys Carpets. The cast iron slabs used in place of the normal weighbridge fascias have been inscribed with the words "Some sandstone some limestone enclosed for some reason". Lawrence Weiner's purpose in creating the piece is explored in a catalogue (Steel pennies) available from the HMI in Leeds.

'Filter' 1990 (approx 2mx2m. Bronze)
SITE: A-Mill (ground floor window)
DETAILS: John Newling is an installation artist and the Professor of Installation Sculpture at Nottingham Trent University. This piece - which is easily overlooked - was one of several similar items in Newling's show at the Henry Henry Moore Studio. The bronze infill panel has a small central hole and fills one of the ground floor windows of (the as-yet undeveloped) A-Mill. Early photographs show the panel to have been polished and reflective.

Besides residual work left by Henry Moore Studio artists, the Dean Clough Studio Artists have also been commissioned to provide pieces for suitable areas during the development of the site. Among these are:


'Ram' and 'Phoenix' c. 1994/5 (approx 8m and 9m high respectively. Aluminium strips)
SITE: G Mill car park ('Ram') and F Mill car park ('Phoenix')
DETAILS: Both of these pieces were created by the Bradford-based artist and sometime Dean Clough artist Frank Darnley (a close collaborator with IOU Theatre, which is also based at Dean Clough). Originally commissioned for the carnival parade at successive Bradford Festivals, they were subsequently purchased by the Chairman of Dean Clough, Sir Ernest Hall. The combined themes of wool and regeneration (as symbolised by the Phoenix) are obviously pertinent to Dean Clough.

'True North' c.1988 (approx 7m long. Polished aluminium)
SITE: D-Mill (halfway up the west-facing wall, below the Crossley Gallery)
DETAILS: The words 'True North', welded in aluminium, are often mistaken for a company logo. The piece was in fact produced by artist and Henry Moore Institute collaborator Paul Bradley to be suspended on a derelict building at a sculpture exhibition in Middlesborough sometime in the late 80's.

'Ram' c.1990 (approx 1m long. Cast iron)
SITE: E-Mill steps (cemented on wall)
'Three Heads' c. 1990 (approx. 80cms tall. Carved stone)
SITE: Bowling Mill (recessed in gable wall)
DETAILS: Edward Cronshaw is one of the Dean Clough artists. These pieces were produced as part of a 'Percent for Arts' scheme which funded artworks from within contractural regeneration budgets. The male attributes of the ram are conspicuously displayed.

The 20th Century Design Collection
SITE: Various Pieces on show throughout the site
DETAILS: Morce Ambler is one of the Uk’s leading authorities on 20th Century furniture design. The aim of The 20th Century Design Collection is to celebrate the best of British in the contemporary period. Although stored at Dean Clough, the collection is not on public show. Visitors with a specific interest should contact Morce Ambler.

View The 20th Century Design Collection >

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