Exhibitions 2012

A Private Affair: Personal Collections of Contemporary Art

One of the collectors featured in A Private Affair at home with their art.

Exhibition
28 January – 5 May
In 2012, we present a major exhibition series focusing on the people and the stories behind collections – from private collectors to those individuals whose donations and vision founded museum collections such as the Harris’ for the enjoyment of all. 

Firstly, A Private Affair told the personal stories behind private collections of contemporary art asking; why do people collect contemporary art, what influences decisions on collecting, and how does it affect or enhance their lives?


The artworks were loaned from private collectors in the North of England, who generously agreed to live without some of their favourite items for a while. The exhibition highlighted a strong interest in supporting artists and the fascinating journeys undertaken by the collectors.

A Private Affair
demonstrated a variety of artistic styles from the past 40 years, and included artists of regional and national importance.

In the summer, A Public Affair will celebrate 130 years of fine art collecting by the Harris. The exhibition will chart the growth of the Harris collection, changing tastes, and the enduring principles of the founders in acquiring new works by artists of the day.

A Private Affair was curated in collaboration with Mark Doyle, Head of Collector Development, Contemporary Art Society North West.

To view videos about the exhibition and the collectors, and to find out more about the Contemporary Art Society or about how to start your own collection click here





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