Second blue plaque for William Gear
William Gear RA has received a second English Heritage blue plaque, to commemorate his time as influential curator of Towner Art Gallery. From 1958 to 1964, he made a number of significant, innovative purchases for the gallery’s collection, which included work by Sandra Blow, Alan Davie and Roger Hilton. Such was his vision, the Observer hailed the Towner in 1962 as “the most go-head municipal gallery of its size in the country”. At the time, however, his vision was often met with fierce opposition from the Purchasing Committee, and attracted much criticism from local gallery-goers. Highlights from his six-year tenure went on show as part of Radical View: William Gear as Curator, which ran alongside the Towner’s critically acclaimed centenary retrospective of the artist in 2015.
The blue plaque unveiling took place on Friday afternoon, 18 October, at the gallery’s former site, now Gildredge Manor Hall, in Borough Hall, Old Town, Eastbourne.