In the summer of 2009 Bristol Museum & Art Gallery was taken over by an extraordinary exhibition of works by the infamous Bristol artist Banksy called Banksy versus Bristol Museum.
Overnight the museum was transformed into a menagerie of Unnatural History – fishfingers swimming in a gold-fish bowl, hot-dogs and chicken nuggets. Paintings were placed in amongst the historic collections of Old Masters, sculptures and other pieces dotted around throughout the museum displays. The main entrance was transformed into a sculpture hall, accompanied by a burnt out ice-cream van that pumped out an eerie sound-track of warped tunes, whilst a giant ice-cream melted on its roof.
Before long, people queued around the block to get into the exhibition, some as long as seven hours just to be part of this unique phenomenon. Over 100 works by the artist – most of which had not been shown before – were displayed.
Banksy left one sculpture behind. Pictured above is the Angel Bust – or the paint-pot angel which is currently on display at the museum. He also gave another work to the museum of a sculpture of Jerusalem, which was made by another artist called Tawfiq Salsaa – you can see it in our online collection.
Banksy and Bristol Museums
Banksy’s Grim Reaper
In August 2014, Banksy’s Grim Reaper was removed from the steel hull of the ship and club venue Thekla. It’s now on display at M Shed – read about it on our blog. You can also see Banksy’s Tesco Value Petrol Bomb poster on display at M Shed.
Banksy’s Mobile Lovers
Banksy’s Mobile Lovers was on display at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery from April to August 2014. The work was sold to a private collector with all the proceeds going to benefit Broad Plain Working with Young People (part of Broad Plain Boys’ Club & Riverside Project). Read more about Banksy’s Mobile Lovers.