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Our museum gets its own date wrong! Letters.

THERE can be no doubt that the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum needs friends, good friends, and it needs friends as a body of supporters and enthusiasts too.

May I pay tribute to the many wonderful people who made up the Friends of the Herbert until that body had to cease operations just a few years ago.

Now the Friends are being re-formed, on the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Herbert, or so the Herbert repeatedly states.

Except that, almost unbelievably, this statement is not correct. The Herbert was actually founded and opened, in 1949! Not only was the Herbert Temporary Art Gallery, as it was known, an art gallery, there was the redoubtable museum curator Cyril Scott, a model then of what museum curators can be.

It was sited in what is now Browns, right next to the older parts of the current Herbert building, and there was no re-founding in 1960, only the opening up of a new portion, part of the now larger present building.

The Herbert needs new friends and needs them urgently.

It gives me great pleasure to finally give some formal credit to the Herbert friends of old, and they deserve more thanks than this, but it gives me no joy at all to be to criticising the Herbert.

Ron Clarke, formerly senior keeper, visual arts, Herbert Art Gallery David Road, Coventry.

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NEW LOOK FOR AN OLD BUILDING ... Herbert Art Gallery, founded in 1949
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Sep 27, 2010
Words:244
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