The arrival of Renoir’s St Tropez at South Shields Museum & Art Gallery is the first in a series of high-profile spotlight loans to the museum and has been loaned by Birmingham Museums Trust on behalf of Birmingham City Council.

The art gallery space has been specially refurbished using ACE funding to enable an enhanced display of the spotlight works and those in the South Tyneside art collection. The spotlight loan is being displayed alongside key coastal scene works by John Scott and Charles Napier Hemy.

The gallery space was previously called the Art Adventure, which featured interactive displays, which the museum said resulted in the artwork getting lost behind the technology.

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir, St Tropez, Image © Birmingham Museums Trust

“It didn’t provide a space to adequately showcase the South Tyneside collection and works of Renoir’s calibre,” said Geoff Woodward, Museum Manager at South Shields Museum & Art Gallery. “It was a very busy gallery with no focal point.”

The gallery has been refurbished and redesigned using ACE capital funding that came from Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.

In September the museum & art gallery will showcase J M W Turner’s Shields on the River Tyne (1823), a spotlight loan from Tate Britain. The exhibition links to the opening in late summer of the iconic new library and digital media centre in South Shields: The Word – the National Centre for the Written Word.

The three-storey building, being built on the town’s Market Place, will celebrate the borough’s literary heritage, and will be a home for North East writing talent stretching back to Bede.

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