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Open Art

A healthy, happy, sustainable future for Dulwich Picture Gallery 

Dulwich Picture Gallery has a vision to transform our gardens and create new opportunities for everyone to engage with art and nature. 

The project, known as Open Art, will include the creation of a new Art Play space (including a Family Café and Schools' Lunch Room) a free Sculpture Garden, the Lovington Sculpture Meadow, and environmental improvements across the site including a Ground Source Heat Pump.   

This is the biggest redevelopment we’ve undertaken in over 20 years and will maximise the Gallery’s unique potential - its building, art, gardens, people and location - for future generations. 

How can I support?

It will cost £4.9m to make Open Art a reality. We are currently fundraising for this project, and any donation, large or small, will help us.

Donate to Open Art

You can also email to find out more about sponsorship opportunities and how your support can make a lasting impact.


How will Open Art transform the Gallery?

The Lovington Sculpture Meadow

Proposed view looking south towards The Lovington Sculpture Meadow 

The currently under-utilised meadow in the southern
portion of the site will be reconnected with the rest of the Gardens. Hedges will be removed, restoring sight lines and a distinctive land artwork designed by leading landscape artist, Kim Wilkie, will transform this area. New paths and lights will make all three acres of the Gardens accessible for the first time. 

A free Sculpture Garden 

Sculptures by Yinka Shonibare CBE RA and Li Li Ren are now installed in our Sculpture Garden

A series of contemporary sculptures will be nestled throughout the landscape, creating a fascinating trail for our visitors to discover in London’s only gallery-based sculpture garden. Works will be contemporary and linked to our history and collection, providing an engaging way to connect with the Old Masters.  

The sculptures will join our existing outdoor works, Walking the Dog by Peter Randall-Page and Bronze Oak Grove by Rob and Nick Carter. 

New sculptures from artists Yinka Shonibare CBE RA and Li Li Ren have just arrived in the gardens for you to enjoy. Learn more about them.

A much-needed Art Play Space, Family Café and School's Lunch Room

Proposed view from Gallery Gardens looking towards Children’s Picture Gallery (left), Gallery Cottage (right) and Dulwich Picture Gallery (far right) 

Designed by renowned architects, Carmody Groake, a new Art Play space will be a welcoming family-focused venue for 0-8 year olds to engage with art. Using our collection as a starting point, the space has been co-designed with local families and community groups, using the Early Years Foundation Stages to create fun, engaging and creative activities. 

A modest extension to the Gallery’s Keeper's Cottage will include a space for art-based family learning experiences and a Schools 'lunchroom. Outside of school visits, the Cottage will be open to the public to enjoy as a new family café and shop.  


We will increase biodiversity across our grounds, transforming an area of modified grassland with low ecological value into a species-rich meadow to support a wide range of amphibians, mammals, invertebrates and breeding birds, with 2,030 square metres of wildflowers and the addition of woodland planting and 131 trees, forming an 'Art Forest' surrounding the new meadow. We will also plant 95m of species-rich hedgerows. 

Ground Source Heat Network

Our plans also include a new ground source heat network to reduce our energy consumption. A series of boreholes will be installed and concealed beneath the gardens to power the ground source heat network.  

Who is Open Art for? 

Open Art is for everyone. Our plans have been developed in response to consultation and feedback from visitors, schools, community groups, our members and local Southwark residents. 

When will Open Art start?

We received planning permission for this innovative transformation of our site in July 2023. Construction on the new Art Play space for families and school groups is set to begin later this year, aiming for completion in early 2025. The Gallery will remain open throughout. 

How can I stay informed about Open Art?

Please sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear news about the project and keep up to date with our plans. 

Thanks to our Funders

We are delighted to have already received funding towards this project from: 

The Lovington Foundation 
Manton Foundation 
Wolfson Foundation 
Garfield Weston Foundation 
Kusuma Trust 
Rick Mather David Scrase Foundation 
Cockayne Grants for the Arts 
Linbury Trust 
V&A Acquisitions Fund 
Southwark Council  
And many other Individuals and Trusts who wish to remain anonymous.