Arts Society & Culture

Peter Murray, founder of Yorkshire Sculpture Park, to speak at UGA

Peter Murray

Athens, Ga. – Peter Murray, the founding director of one of the world’s foremost venues for the outdoor exhibition of sculpture, will speak on “Museums Without Walls: Art in the Landscape” March 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the M. Smith Griffith Auditorium of the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia.

The event is co-sponsored by the Georgia Museum of Art and the UGA Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts.

The talk will offer “a brief examination of sculpture in the landscape, touching upon land art in the United States such as ‘Spiral Jetty’ and Roden Crater as well as Japanese, European and North American sculpture parks,” Murray explained. He also will refer to the work of English landscape designer Capability Brown and his influence on the revolution of English parklands.

Murray founded the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, located at Bretton Hall, an 18th-century estate 20 miles south of Leeds, England, in 1977. The park sits on 500 acres, with both permanent and temporary displays of modern and contemporary sculpture as well as four indoor galleries. More than 350,000 people visit the park each year, according to its website.

“Peter Murray’s achievements at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park are truly astonishing,” said Antje Ascheid, associate professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of theatre and film studies and associate academic director for arts and public programs at the Willson Center. “His curatorial work with sculptors includes artists like Henry Moore, Joan Miró, Barbara Hepworth, Eduardo Chillida, William Turnbull, James Turrell, Isamu Noguchi, Nigel Hall, David Nash, Jaume Plensa and Andy Goldsworthy, among many others.

“Indeed, the park itself is one of the finest exhibition sites for sculpture worldwide. It is a unique space that allows visitors to experience sculpture, which is frequently treated by museums as an afterthought to painting, within the landscape offering a perspective both rare and inspiring.”

Murray holds the titles of Officer of the Order of the British Empire and Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He was awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1996 for services to the arts and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE, in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours, which recognize outstanding achievement and service in the United Kingdom. The rank of CBE is one level below knighthood in the British order of chivalry.

A public reception will follow the lecture.

For more information about the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, see For more about the Georgia Museum of Art, see

Willson Center for Humanities and Arts
The Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Research. In the service of its mission to promote research and creativity in the humanities and arts, the Willson Center sponsors and participates in numerous public events on and off the UGA campus throughout the academic year. It supports faculty through research grants, lectures, symposia, publications, visiting scholars, visiting artists, collaborative instruction, public conferences, exhibitions and performances. For more information, see