The Wilson Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum

The Wilson Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum
Clarence Street
GL50 3JT




01242 237431

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The Wilson
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The Wilson, Cheltenham’s newly extended Art Gallery & Museum reopened its doors to the public on 5 October 2013 with a new building housing expansive fine art and touring exhibition galleries for the first time.

Renewed gallery spaces allow visitors to explore highlights from the Museum’s collections - including a new gallery space dedicated to the internationally renowned Arts & Crafts collection, open archives showing tales of local heroes, including the great Edward Wilson (one of Scott's key men on his 1912 expedition to Antarctica) and temporary exhibition spaces filled with varied programming including fun shows for families.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

The Wilson is open daily, 9.30am - 5.15pm.
We are closed on 25 & 26 December, 1 January and Easter Sunday.

Admission charges


The Arts and Crafts collection at Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

Cheltenham's Designated collection relates to the British Arts and Crafts Movement spanning the 1880s to about 1940. The Cotswolds were an important centre for one of Britain's most inspiring and influential art movements. The collection has a strong local base featuring furniture, silver, metalwork, plasterwork, leatherwork and embroideries by designers such as C.R. Ashbee and Ernest Gimson. Since the 1970s the collection has been developed to give a national overview with work by William Morris, C.F.A. Voysey, Baillie Scott, Eric Gill and many others. Visitors are captivated by the colourful designs and craft skills on show as well as the thought-provoking social message of the Movement with its emphasis on creative manual work.

Cheltenham's history is also well represented, and in addition there are paintings spanning four centuries, oriental collections of pottery and costume, and archaeological treasures from the neighbouring Cotswolds, as well as a programme of special exhibitions changing regularly throughout the year.

Collection details

World Cultures, Weapons and War, Social History, Science and Technology, Personalities, Natural Sciences, Music, Land Transport, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archives, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Arts and Crafts Movement
  • 17th- and 19th-century Dutch and Belgian paintings
  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Culture Shot in the Atrium: God's Wrath by Angus Pryor

  • 17 January — 3 May 2015 *on now

All works in this exhibition are transcriptions from biblical texts. Angels of the Apocalypse is derived from the Book of Revelations.

Spencer takes the theme as part of a larger picture – literally
this was part of a polyptych. Pryor wanted to explore the idea of this “taken text” in a manner that was more secular in its intention and therefore looked closely at and researched Spencer’s work to see how a parody of this painting could be made, bearing in mind the original words within the text and how Spencer had transcribed them.

God’s Wrath is therefore a play on Spencer’s original painting in which the angels are represented by homely Cookham housewives adorned with swans’ wings, and God’s wrath is substituted by winged seeds which aid the process of regeneration in an already fertile, pastoral setting. In the painting, a symbol of playfulness is substituted for the Angels, using toys (Space Hoppers) to represent the main figures.

Suitable for


Image used in poster: Crucifixion, Pink, 2001 (oil on canvas), Aitchison, Craigie (1926-2009) / Ahmanson Collection / Bridgeman Images

still small voice: British biblical art in a secular age (1850 - 2014)

  • 17 January — 3 May 2015 *on now

still small voice: British biblical art in a secular age is an exclusive opportunity to see major works by influential 20th century British artists including Stanley Spencer, Eric Gill, Jacob Epstein, Barbara Hepworth, Edward Burra and Graham Sutherland. Exploring ideas around creativity, crisis and the human experience, this is a major exhibition for 2015.

The works on show are normally held in an international private collection, and this is the first time this exhibition has been displayed in the UK. It will explore a diverse range of media, including major paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture by some of the most important and beloved 20th century British artists some of whom are also shown in The Wilson's own collection.

Special Lecture Series
A very special lecture series, led by experts in the fields of fine art and theology, will accompany the exhibition. Admission to each lecture in the series is £7 / Concessions £5, and tickets are available from The Wilson in advance or on the door.


Turner: Watercolours from the West

  • 13 March — 10 May 2015 *on now

An intimate touring show of eight works by JMW Turner. The watercolours span Turner’s career from student days to mature style, and include views of Bath, Bristol and the surrounding area. Presented by Frameworks.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Adult Workshop: Watercolour

  • 11 April 2015 10am-4pm

Be inspired by the Turner Watercolours display and create your own watercolour artwork.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


£40.00 per person


Speech and Silence, Word and Image

  • 22 April 2015 5:30-7pm

Dr Chloë Reddaway (Ahmanson Fellow in Art and Religion at The National Gallery) discusses the relationship between Christian language and image making, the challenge of painting God incarnate, and the theological potential of silence, empty spaces, and dissemblance in indicating the dual nature of Christ.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


A very special lecture series, led by experts in the fields of fine art and theology, accompanies the "still small voice" exhibition. Admission to each lecture in the series is £7 / Concessions £5, and tickets are available from The Wilson in advance or on the door.


Talk: Art and Travel in Turner's Time

  • 9 May 2015 1-2pm

Join expert Dr Jenny Gaschke to learn more about the intricacies of art and travel in Turner's time.

Suitable for


£7.00 per person


Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

At the Seaside

All children love a visit to the seaside, even if it's located inside a museum! This workshop looks back at seaside holidays in the past, through objects, paintings and photographs. There's an original Mr Punch puppet, and costume for looking at and trying on. Children have the chance to think about the similar ways in which they enjoy the seaside to children in the past, even if the costumes were different!

Evacuation Experience

A joint venture with the Gloucestershire-Warwickshire Railway, the Evacuation Experience sees children in 1940s costume travelling by steam train to the 'safety of the countryside.' At the station, they meet Aunty Doris who talks to them about the War, before being allocated jobs on the farm. Available on certain dates only.

Face to Face

An Art & Design workshop based on our wonderful collection of portraits.

How to obtain

Email or or telephone 01242 775702

Identity Parade

Every Wednesday 14.00-17.00, bring your mystery objects, from household items to paintings, to Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum and we'll try to help you find out more about them. If we can't help we're sure to know someone who can.

How to obtain

Drop in between 14.00-17.00, free of charge. Contact the gallery on or 01242 237431 for more details on Identity Parade.

Investigating Toys

Examples of toys from the past, present and other cultures that illustrate forces, movements, energy, sound, light and the use of materials.


  • Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, Education and Outreach Service


  • Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum

Puppet Workshop

This workshop offers children the opportunity to investigate and enjoy the world-wide tradition of puppets. They can try out marionettes, shadow, rod and glove puppets, and can see Punch and Judy, a wartime Mickey Mouse made from blackout material as well as examples of the Arts & Crafts tradition with beautifully carved animals. The children then produce their own shadow puppet performance.

The Tudors

A workshop offering an opportunity to develop historical knowledge and understanding of everyday life in Tudor times. An exploration of objects in the galleries is complemented by hands-on experience of a range of original and replica artefacts and costume.

How to obtain

For details of costs and availability please email or telephone 01242 775702.

Victorian Life

This popular workshop can be tailored to focus on handling materials that illustrate rural and home life, childhood, education and costume, comparing Victorian life to the present day. This is a unique opportunity to handle original and replica objects and takes the learning experience beyond the glass cases of the museum.

How to obtain

Please e-mail for details of cost and availability.