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The Art

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Alan Measles – God in the time of Covid-19 (2020)

Grayson Perry

glazed ceramic

Science Museum, London

© Grayson Perry Photo credit: The Science Museum



Craft, Pottery, Ceramic






51.3 x 27.6 x 28.1 cm


Made possible with support from Victoria Miro Gallery and Art Fund, with additional thanks to the Contemporary Art Society and the Hiscox Foundation, 2021/22

Ownership history:

Purchased from Victoria Miro, London, with their support and from Art Fund, with additional aid from the Contemporary Art Society and the Hiscox Foundation; presented to the Science Museum, 2021/22
During the UK’s first national lockdown, Grayson and Phillipa Perry presented “Grayson's Art Club” on Channel 4. The programme brought together artists, celebrities and the public to make their own work around a different theme each week. Perry made Alan Measles – God in the Time of Covid-19 during fantasy week, using the form of an ‘albarello’ - a maiolica medicine jar – to present an imagined response to experiences of lockdown. The jar is decorated with Perry’s fears and imaginings, and features Alan Measles (Perry’s famous teddy bear), Perry’s alter ego Claire and Professor Chris Whitty. Other characters appear wearing PPE and holding rainbow signs for the NHS.

In response to the pandemic, the Science Museum is collecting stories and objects which capture this moment in our history, providing a permanent record for future generation of medical, scientific, industrial, cultural and personal responses to the outbreak and chronicling its impact on society. Perry’s albarello presents an opportunity for the Science Museum to exhibit a personal reflection from a prominent and popular artist that will resonate with visitor’s own experiences of the pandemic. Perry’s jar offers a window into the sometimes-complicated conversations surrounding health and medicine, an art can often help visitors make meaning of scientific topics.

In 2022, the jar will go on display within the Science Museum’s ‘Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries’ the world’s largest medical collection. It will act as a contemporary intervention in the gallery, complementing a display of historic medicine jars from the collections of Henry Wellcome, as well as further Covid-19 interventions elsewhere in the gallery. These include vials from the first Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines administered in the UK, and public health signage from the UK daily government briefings.

All rights reserved. Any further use will need to be cleared with the rights holder. Permission granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only. Commercial copying, hiring, lending is prohibited.

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