BARNSLEY Civic has announced the launch of new artwork commissioned earlier this year as part of the Maurice Dobson Commission.

Three talented local artists have created pieces inspired by the life and legacy of Maurice Dobson, which will be showcased at the Maurice Dobson Museum and Heritage Centre from next Saturday until July 27, in celebration of Pride Month.

The exhibition will feature a new painting, a series of pop-art style portraits, and a selection of pamphlets. These pamphlets, produced by the artists, will be available for purchase in the museum gift shop to raise funds for the museum.

In February, Barnsley Civic awarded the Maurice Dobson Commission to graphic designer and illustrator Christopher Goggs, painter Rebekah ‘Higgy’ Higginbotham, and poet Simon Beech. This commission provided them the opportunity to create new work inspired by Maurice Dobson’s life and legacy.

Maurice Dobson and Fred Halliday, known for their collection of antiquities, lived as an openly gay couple from the early 1950s until Halliday’s death in 1988. Despite the legal and societal challenges of their time, Maurice chose to live his life proudly and defiantly, expressed through his flamboyant fashion and appearance.

Jason White, Creative Engagement Manager at Barnsley Civic, said: “When the Maurice Dobson Museum reached out to us last year to explore ways to celebrate Darfield’s own queer icon, we suggested giving local artists the opportunity to create new work inspired by his life, not only as a collector of antiquities but also as an out and proud gay man in the 1950s and 60s.

“We hope that this exhibition will inspire a new audience and attract new visitors to the museum."

The Maurice Dobson Museum and Heritage Centre, located at 2 Vicar Road, Darfield, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S73 9JZ, will host the exhibition. The museum is open on Wednesdays from 1pm to 4pm and Saturdays from 10am to 2 pm.

All three artists and a representative from Barnsley Civic will be present at the Maurice Dobson Museum from 10am-11:30am next Saturday (June 8) for the opening of the exhibition.