The Wilson Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum

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.


  • 3 October 2015 — 7 February 2016 *on now

As part of ARTIST ROOMS On Tour, we are delighted to be hosting three thought-provoking works by contemporary video artist, Bill Viola. Viola's work is internationally celebrated as establishing video as a pioneering art form. His works focus on universal human experiences - birth, death, the unfolding of consciousness—and have roots in both Eastern and Western art as well as spiritual traditions.

Get involved!
The Wilson is looking for up to 30 young people (aged 16 – 25) to create a piece of work inspired by this exhibition. Facilitated by workshops led by an audio visual artist, you will be part of a group creating an exciting artistic film piece. This group project will involve filming, editing and production, then curating the space to display the finished work, and hosting a special private view evening.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon

  • 9 November 2015 — 31 January 2016 *on now

This beautiful and enchanting photographic exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery will provide an illuminating insight to the life and career of Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993). From her early years as a chorus girl in London’s West End through to her philanthropic work in later life, Portraits of an Icon will celebrate one of the world’s most photographed and recognisable stars.

The exhibition will show a selection of more than seventy images defining Hepburn’s iconography, including classic and rarely seen prints from leading twentieth-century photographers such as Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Terry O’Neill, Norman Parkinson and Irving Penn. Alongside these, an array of vintage magazine covers, film stills, and extraordinary archival material will complete her captivating story.

A range of exciting events will accompany this exhibition, please keep checking back here for more details.

Suitable for

  • Any age


£7 adults / £5 concessions / Free for those aged 16 & under


Jerwood Drawing Prize 2015

  • 21 November 2015 — 24 January 2016 *on now

The Jerwood Drawing Prize is the UK's longest-running annual open exhibition and prize for drawing. Selected from original drawings, the Jerwood Drawing Prize has established a reputation for its commitment to championing excellence, and to promoting and celebrating the breadth of contemporary drawing practice within the UK.

The exhibition provides a platform to showcase the work of drawing practitioners, from student to established, and as a project helps to define a wider understanding of the role and value of drawing in creative practice.

This year, the Jerwood Drawing Prize will be hosted in the Friends gallery at The Wilson.

Suitable for

  • Any age


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.

Face to Face

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

How to obtain

Email or or telephone 01242 775702

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.

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.

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




01242 237431

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.