The contemporary artworks in the collection were acquired during an interesting period in the history of the Gallery. In 1953, John Burden was appointed borough librarian and curator at Kettering covering both the Library and Gallery. Burden was very forward thinking and was able to promote his ideas as to how the Gallery should be run. He rethought the exhibition programme bringing exciting touring exhibitions to the town. He also established over the next 25 years a new acquisitions policy enabling funding to be obtained for what is now the basis of the ‘modern collection’. London art advisers yearly offered a selection of interesting works to the Gallery resulting in a collection of the UK’s most outstanding artists of that period.
Paintings can be viewed by Alan Davie RA, Joan Eardley, Sir Terry Frost RA, Sir Howard Hodgkins, Ivon Hitchens and Leon Kossoff. Purchased during the same period were limited edition prints by Robyn Denny, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi RA, Tom Philips RA, John Piper, Brigit Skiold and Paule Vaezelay. One piece of very contemporary sculpture by Sergio de Camargo was also obtained. The result was an excellent modern art collection, balancing the works that Sir Alfred East left as a foundation for the Collection. Many of these works can be viewed by clicking here at Art UK.