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Maurice Dobson

Barnsley Civic announce artist commission in partnership with Maurice Dobson museum.

Barnsley Civic is proud to announce a new partnership with Maurice Dobson Museum, which will create an opportunity for one artist identifying as LGBTQIA+, living , working or studying in the Barnsley area.

The chosen artist will be announced in February as part of LGBTQ History Month, and will undertake a paid commission valued at £750 in which they will create new work inspired by the legacy of Maurice Dobson.

Maurice and his partner Fred Halliday were collectors of antiquities and owned the Darfield village shop at 2 Vicar Rd, where the Maurice Dobson Museum and Heritage Centre now stands today.

Maurice and Fred lived as an openly gay couple from the early 1950s until Fred died in 1988. The way Maurice chose to live his life, in such a proud and defiant way, is definitely inspirational. In a time when homosexuality was still illegal and posed the threat of a prison sentence, it was common to see Maurice wearing makeup and flamboyant fashions.

The chosen artist will have the opportunity to research the life of Maurice Dobson and to explore the collections held inside the museum.

Barnsley Civic Creative Engagement Manager Jason White said, “This is an exciting opportunity, perfectly suited to a emerging young artist, student or recent graduate. We see this as a potential first step into the world of paid commissions and the arts and heritage sector and we are place to be able to create this opportunity. When the Maurice Dobson Museum picked up the phone to ask if we’d like to work with them, we saw the project as a vital chance to increase the representation of LGBTQIA+ artists locally, and to celebrate the life of a much-revered local icon.”

A representative from Maurice Dobson Museum & Heritage Centre said, “Maurice Dobson Museum are proud to be part of this fantastic initiative, we know Maurice would be pleased too.”

Click here to download the opportunities form to find out more.

Artists wishing to be considered, should send examples of their creative practice and a letter of no more than 300 words by 9th February, 5pm.




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