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 Grayson Perry

Single Image Display

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

Temple Newsam House is delighted to welcome ‘The Vanity of Small Differences’, an exhibition of six tapestries created during the BAFTA winning Channel 4 documentary series ‘All in the Best Possible Taste’ by Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry. The contemporary tapestries will hang in 19th century rooms filled with fine art, furniture, wallpaper and ceramics. Stewarts Law have kindly supported Temple Newsam House in hosting this touring exhibition, which also includes a display of Hogarth’s ‘A Rake’s Progress’, the Channel 4 documentary series, a film of the tapestries in situ and an interactive app (also available from iTunes). 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 – so catch it while you can!

‘The Vanity of Small Differences’ tells a story of twenty-first century social mobility through the fictional character, Tim Rakewell and explore Perry’s fascination with British taste. Perry’s tapestries make direct reference to ‘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. 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

Check out our programme of events related to the exhibition, by clicking here or on the downloads section above.

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.

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.