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 Coming soon…Grayson Perry

Single Image Display

The Vanity of Small Differences
Sat 23rd August to Sun 7th Dec 2014

​Temple Newsam House is pleased to announce that The Vanity of Small Differences, a series of six tapestries by Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry, will be on display from August to December this year. Temple Newsam House will be the last UK touring venue in 2014 before the exhibition goes on an international tour supported by the British Council.

The Vanity of Small Differences tells a story of twenty-first century social mobility through the fictional character, Tim Rakewell. Created during the BAFTA winning Channel 4 documentary series All in the Best Possible Taste, they explore Perry’s fascination with British taste and tell a story of class mobility. Perry’s tapestries make direct reference to the series of paintings called A Rake’s Progress by William Hogarth (1697-1764), the work of Hogarth has long been an influence on Perry’s work. The eight paintings in Hogarth’s series tell the story of Tom Rakewell, a young man who inherits a fortune from his father and who thenceforth goes on to squander his inheritance on fashionable pursuits.

At Temple Newsam, historic wall hangings are an integral part of some of the stylistic features set out within over 40 rooms representing many periods and styles. On the ground floor of the House, the Terrace Room displays a pair of large tapestries that illustrate scenes from the story of Moses. Setting Grayson Perry’s six contemporary tapestries in this country house offers a unique context that will not apply anywhere else on the UK tour. The tapestries will hang in 6 adjoining rooms alongside fine art, furniture, wallpaper, ceramics and bed hangings from the 19th century. It is hoped that this will spark further debate about class and taste through time in British society.

​Grayson Perry, The Upper Class at Bay, 2012, detail. Photo: © Stephen White

We regret to inform you that the tapestries have restricted access for people with limited mobility, as the South wing of the house is only accessible by stairs or stair climber.  Despite the size of the house and its interiors, finding wall spaces large enough to accommodate the works has been a challenge.  However, the interpretation space is fully accessible, with information about the show, a film of the tapestries in situ and a digital guide app to zoom in and view the details of the tapestries. Please note, the tapestries are on display in other locations where they are fully accessible:-

Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool (23 May – 10 August 2014)

Entrance to the exhibition is free with normal admission to the House.

Kindly supported by:

Stewarts Law LLP the UK's largest litigation-only law firm, is proud to sponsor this exhibition at Temple Newsam House. Further information about the firm can be found the website: www.stewartslaw.com

With additional support Dine, founded in Leeds in 1998 to provide a bespoke events and catering service is now recognised as a market leader in the Events & Hospitality industry www.dine.co.uk

This major work was gifted to the Arts Council Collection and the British Council by the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery, London; it was also supported by Channel 4 Television, the Art Fund, and Sfumato Foundation with additional support from Alix Partners. The UK tour of the tapestries is supported by the Art Fund and Sfumato Foundation.