Stanley Spencer Gallery

In Clipped Yews (above) Spencer focused on the glorious contrasts to be found where sunlit ivy cascades from a leafy arbour, tumbling into the foreground over formal, tightly clipped ornamental yews.
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- Named by ArtFund in 2014 as one of the five most 'umissable' small Art Galleries in the UK.

- Awarded a Michelin star in the Great Britain Michelin Green Guide.

- Named in the list of '2014 Top Museums Worth Travelling For'.

- Awarded Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2015

Here you can see Spencer’s acclaimed portraits alongside his breathtaking landscapes, scenes from everyday life, religious subjects and dreamlike visions. Whatever the current exhibition (there are two per year), the visitor can be assured of discovering more about Spencer’s extraordinary artistic skill - the vehicle for communicating his unique and challenging view of human existence.

Composition was everything to Spencer, and within composition lay further layers of ‘design’ or 'pattern-making’. Spencer's works are also characterised by the subtle (and sometimes less subtle) changes of shape and visage caused by painting 'not how people or objects exactly looked' but 'how they made him feel'. Many of Spencer's works depict joyous and vivid fusions of the ordinary with the extraordinary and the earthly with the spiritual. Throughout his work the power of love prevails in mystical transformations.

Cookham was Spencer's beloved home village, forming the backdrop to so many of his paintings, his heaven on earth, and here in Cookham is the largest collection of Spencer's works on display anywhere in world. The Gallery's own varied and exciting collection is always enhanced by paintings from other major galleries across the UK, depending on the theme of the current exhibition. Visitors are assured of a rare insight into the breadth of Spencer's genius.

Take a voyage of discovery within our Gallery, via paintings, video and archives, to learn all you can about Stanley himself:

- Supremely talented, with dazzling technical skill

- Wonderful imagination, spirited and spiritual

- An intriguing mass of contradictions in art and life

- Never entirely fathomable

We so much look forward to your visit.

Venue Type:

Gallery, Museum

Opening hours

From 1st April to 31st October each year: 10.30am to 5.30pm seven days per week.
From 1st November to 31st March each year: Thursday to Sunday 11.00 am to 4.30pm.

Admission charges

£5 admission for adults. £4 concessions (including students). Accompanied children under 16 free.


  • National Art Pass
Getting there

Approx 30 miles from London by road.

Very accessible, Cookham is approx 15 minutes off M4 (Junction 8/9) or M40 (Either Junction 3, High Wycombe East or Junction 4, High Wycombe)

Also less than 1 hour's journey by rail from Paddington to Maidenhead then Cookham.

Additional info

Extremely helpful catalogues to current exhibition.
A video exposition giving further insights.
Material for children - worksheets and activity books
Accessible and well-ordered archive information
Small merchandise area with books, postcards etc
Knowledgeable and helpful staff on reception desk (all volunteers)

Collection details

Fine Art

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Stanley Spencer: Visionary Painter of the Natural World

  • 24 March — 31 October 2016 *on now

Glorious depictions of the natural world, exploring Spencer's consummate skill in a series of exquisitely executed flower paintings, garden vistas and landscapes. Figurative and spiritual scenes amongst these wonderful paintings movingly remind us of the visionary element pervading all of Spencer's work.

The Stanley Spencer Gallery is currently displaying an unforgettable series of paintings of the outdoor world, many of these rarely seen within such easy reach of London, South East England, or Southern England more generally. The works include lush plants and flowers, together with gardens, green spaces, landscapes and river scenes.. Amid this rich display are paintings that directly remind us of the spiritual nature of Spencer's work: biblical happenings, emanations of cemeteries, and the emotional resonances of some of Spencer's finest double portraits.

Right from the outset and throughout this exhibition, the visitor will encounter a breathtaking array of some of Spencer's most memorable works. There are a number of major spiritual works, all being set against backgrounds of the natural world: a rocky outcrop of the Macedonian mountains, a profusion of vegetables in the front gardens of Cookham High Street, the green hillside expanses of Port Glasgow Cemetery, all of these being connected in one way or another with Spencer's wartime experiences.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Getting there

Approx 30 miles from London by road.

Very accessible, Cookham is approx 15 minutes off M4 (Junction 8/9) or M40 (Either Junction 3, High Wycombe East or Junction 4, High Wycombe)

Also less than 1 hour's journey by rail from Paddington to Maidenhead then Cookham.

Stanley Spencer Gallery
High Street


For details of current exhibition as well as general information regarding the Gallery and the works of Stanley Spencer.


Publicity contact or will pass on queries of other sorts


All telephone enguiries including group visit arrangements

01628 471885

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.