The art scene in the somewhat sleepy West Sussex market town of Petworth is about to get a whole lot more exciting. On March 6, the Grade II-listed Georgian building Newlands House opens as a gallery of 20th-century art, photography and design.
At the helm of the project is auctioneer and curator Simon de Pury, whose programme of events kicks off with an exhibition of photographs by Helmut Newton. The first in a series of retrospectives planned to commemorate the German-Australian photographer’s 100th birthday, many of the works on show are rare or unique. For instance, Big Nude III (Henrietta variant), 1980, is being publically displayed in the UK for the first time. Other notable works include Walter Steiger Shoe, Monte Carlo, 1983 and Elsa Peretti, Bunny, New York, 1975.
De Pury hopes to enhance Petworth’s reputation for music, literature and antiques. He also expects visitors “will be blown away by the beauty of the town and its surroundings”, which include 17th-century Petworth House, home to the National Trust’s most important art collection.