The University of Chichester closed the OTTER GALLERY on October 7, 2018.
It was home to the Bishop Otter Art Collection of 20th century British art and it was Chichester’s only free public gallery in possession of a permanent collection.
This website was set up in May 2018, initially in support of the campaign to save the Otter Gallery at Chichester University from closure and to prevent the dispersal of its collection. It will now preserve the legacy of the Otter Gallery and its unique collection of modern British art, and it will be a record of the campaign to save it.
The website will continue to provide a link to the film ‘Making the Bishop Otter Art Collection’, and it will document the publicity and the correspondence associated with gallery’s closure.
A petition to ‘Save the Otter Gallery at Chichester University’ had reached 2388 signatures at the time of its closure after three months. It has also attracted more than a hundred comments, which have been copied and kept as a record on this website. There was no consultation with university staff, students or the local community about the closure of the gallery – a free public art space. At no time has the University of Chichester acknowledged the existence of this petition or responded to concerns raised by those who signed it.
Shortly after the official gallery closure all references to it and to the Bishop Otter Art Collection were for several days removed from the university’s website. The information re-appeared after some web pages were ‘reconfigured’. The Collection Committee for the Bishop Otter Collection was dissolved at the beginning of November with the promise that it would be ‘re-populated’ in the next quarter. The International Council of Museums, Committee for University Museums and Collections, voiced their concerns about the closure of the Otter Gallery in an Open Letter to Prof. Jane Longmore on November 12.