A priceless 300-year-old painting from the National Gallery by Dutch artist Jan van Huysum is on display in an unexpected location – at a food bank in Lincoln.
The artwork – Jan van Huysum’s Flowers in a Terracotta Vase (1736-7) – was put on display at The Bridge Community Hub on Newark Road in Lincoln on June 21. It will remain on display until Saturday, June 26 as part of ‘Jan van Huysum Visits’.
The food bank in Lincoln was chosen for its outstanding work in providing essential support and food parcels to families and individuals throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The hub includes a food bank, library services, and a number of other opportunities for community engagement.
Each display in the Jan van Huysum tour explores one of the six ‘Ways to Wellbeing’: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning, Give, and Care (for the planet). The theme for the Lincoln display is ‘Give’.
Community craft sessions will rerunning concurrently throughout the week for visitors to enjoy.
The Collection Museum in Lincoln has been working with local food banks to distribute creative packs and to engage with the community through arts activities. A specially themed pack will be available both at the Bridge food bank in Lincoln and other food banks in the area.
A literary and poetry resource related to the display has also been created to engage with two primary schools located near the food bank.
The painting will also visit Scotland and Northern Ireland, having already toured Barnsley, Cornwall and Norfolk, propping up in an unusual or unexpected non-museum venue.
Councillor Lindsey Cawrey, executive member for culture at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Art is such an enabler – for conversations, for inspiration and for learning. Covid has been hard for so many, so I know this pop-up exhibition will go a long way in connecting with new audiences – making a real difference to mental health and wellbeing. I’m delighted we could help make it happen!”
Mike Fowler, Team Leader at Bridge Community Hub, said: “We are delighted to welcome the National Gallery and to be hosting this amazing artwork on behalf of food banks across Lincoln. We can’t wait for our food bank guests to see the painting and for people who love art to maybe see their first food bank up close.”