27 January 2012
Last updated at 06:48
To celebrate Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art's (mima) fifth birthday on 27 January, an exhibition looking at the town's 60-year-old art archive has been put on display.
mima opened on 27 January 2007 and showcases modern and contemporary art and craft for free. The building, which cost £14.2m was designed by Erick van Egeraat Architects. Since its opening it has welcomed around 700,000 people through its doors.
The exhibition displays archive material gifted to mima in the 1950s and 1960s which attracted a lot of media attention at the time. In 1952, a group formed the Friends of Middlesbrough Art Gallery which then evolved into today's mima. mima now looks after and develops the collection that the Friends helped to build.
Middlesbrough’s collection and an archive of documents, letters, press cuttings and speech notes, gifted to mima by Lady Crathorne’s son Lord Crathorne are also on display. Nancy Dugdale, 1st Lady Crathorne is president of the Friends of Middlesbrough Art Gallery.
Other works featured in the show include an oil painting by Lady Crathorne herself, Willow Trees, Wiltshire, 1936 and one of the most popular purchases made by the Friends, LS Lowry’s painting The Old Town Hall and St Hilda’s Church Middlesbrough, 1959, as well as this bust of Somerset Maugham, by Sir Jacob Epstein.
Middlesbrough mayor Ray Mallon said: "This is an international class gallery which puts the town firmly on the map regionally, nationally and internationally. It’s a hugely important cultural attraction and one which says this town cares about its present and is building for the future."
What Friends have done for Middlesbrough: A 5th birthday exhibition, is sponsored by charity mima friends. It runs until 19 February. The gallery is also hosting a free family party on Saturday 28 January.