Peter Murray is the founding and Executive Director of Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP). Peter was awarded a CBE in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Peter was previously awarded an OBE for services to the arts in 1996. Whilst Principal Lecturer in Art Education at Bretton Hall College, Peter founded YSP in 1977 and it is now one of the world’s leading sculpture parks, attracting over 350,000 visitors a year.
From modest beginnings with an exhibition in the college grounds, YSP has grown under Peter’s direction and vision to become an international centre for modern and contemporary art, with four indoor galleries set in 500 acres of 18th century parkland. The permanent open air displays include significant works by Henry Moore
and Barbara Hepworth
Peter oversaw the creation of the award-winning Visitor Centre (opened 2002) and the Underground Gallery (opened 2005 and a Gulbenkian Prize Finalist in 2006), two landmark buildings designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley which have increased the space and opportunities at YSP for the public and artists alike.
Peter’s commitment and passion has nurtured long-standing relationships with many artists who often return to the Park throughout their careers. In 2006 a disused deer shelter, an 18th-century Grade II Listed building, was transformed into a Skyspace by the American artist James Turrell
- a permanent commission for the landscape first discussed with the artist in 1993. Andy Goldsworthy
had a three month residency in 1987, and his 2007 exhibition attracted the largest visitor numbers to date, forming one of the largest and most ambitious project ever curated at YSP. In 2008 Peter organised the first major display in Europe of work by the late Isamu Noguchi
, including monumental sculpture never previously shown outside Japan. In 2010 a major David Nash
exhibition traced the evolution of the artist's forty year career, reflecting the international journey the artist has made since he first visited YSP in 1979.
As well as managing YSP, Peter travels internationally advising and lecturing on sculpture in the open air, contributing to conferences and organising exhibitions, and was a selector for the 2010 Northern Art Prize