Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
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The Swindon Museum and Art Gallery is in the Old Town area of Swindon. In 1930, Apsley House, which until then had always been a family house, was adapted to house the Museum Collection. The elegant staircase, decorative plaster work and stained glass details which originally graced family rooms have now become familiar to many visitors to the Museum and Art Gallery.

The Museum and Art Gallery has been housed together in this building for many years so it is little wonder that the name Apsley House has become largely forgotten. There remains however, a faint reminder for those with sharp eyesight, for the name is inscribed on the old gate posts, which formed the original entrance from Bath Road. Though that access is now blocked by railings, those stone posts remain and will do for a long time to come.

The aim of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery is to safeguard, enhance, exhibit and celebrate Swindon’s collections for visitors, now and in the future.

The Museum was founded by Charles Gore in 1919 as a place to display his extensive geological collections. Gore was the first curator of the museum and the collections were built up following the fashions of the time, focussing on broad themes rather than local connections. He acquired natural history, egyptological and ethnographic collections, along with archaeological materials. Through time the collections have become more focussed on Swindon and the surrounding areas and we hold objects dating from prehistory to the present showing the development of the area and the people who lived in it.

In 1941 the art collection was established by an impressive donation of 21 works by a local businessman HJP Bomford. This collection has been built on and today Swindon Museum and Art Gallery owns a modern art collection of outstanding quality and importance. In addition we also hold an excellent collection of studio ceramics and a number of local artworks.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

Wed-Sat 11:00-15:00
Open from 10am during school holidays

Closed: Sun, Mon, Tue
Bank Holidays

Admission charges

Admission free
Some workshops and talks incure a fee

Additional info

The Museum and Art Gallery is spread over several floors with no lift facilities, please contact us in advance if you have any access difficulties so we can plan ahead for you.

Housed in a listed building in Swindon's Old Town, the Swindon Community Heritage Museum and Art Gallery displays exhibits of local history, archaeology and geology. It tells the story of Swindon's jurassic past, its connections with the Roman Empire as well as the more recent social history of this thriving town. There is also a programme of temporary exhibitions taken from the museum collections. Unusual exhibits include a 4.5m (15ft) Indian crocodile, an Egyptian mummy of a 12-year-old boy, a unique Roman lead casket and glass urn and the Garrards collection of record turntables. Swindon's remarkable art collection is housed in the Swindon Art Gallery, which is adjacent to the Community Heritage Museum in Bath Road, Old Town, Swindon. It was established by local benefactor, H J P Bomford, during 1944 from a generous donation of works. These works form the nucleus of the collection and include many of the major British artists of the day such as Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, L S Lowry, Paul Nash and many others. Through an imaginative purchasing programme, the collection now has a reputation as one of the best of British 20th Century Art outside London. A more recent acquisition was Laundromat Locomotion, consisting of 12 photographs by Turner Prize short-listed artist, Steven Pippin. Artists in the collection include Terry Frost, Howard Hodgkin, Gwen and Augustus John, Maggi Hambling, Ivon Hitchens, Christopher Le Brun and Lisa Milroy. There is also a significant collection of studio pottery, with works by David Leach, Lucie Rie and Hans Coper among others.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Music, Social History

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
golder, thompson, ceramics, art, swindon, museum, gallery, exhibition, ron, sloman, contemporary

The Ron Sloman Collection: Contemporary Ceramics

  • 22 February — 1 July 2017 *on now

This collection comprises more than fifty varied ceramics by some of the most exciting and important ceramic artists working today.

This exhibition celebrates the Ron Sloman Collection and features work by Edmund de Waal, Akiko Hirai, Sulyman Saba and Laurance Simon.

Swindon Museum & Art Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11.00am to 3.00pm. During Swindon School Holidays, we will be open from 10.00am to 3.00pm. We are open for school and group visits on Monday & Tuesday and at other times by appointment.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk/event/the-ron-sloman-collection-contemporary-ceramics/

Kossof, Swindon, Art, London, School

Modern Times: How the School of London changed British Art

  • 22 February — 1 July 2017 *on now

With their connections to the capital, its art schools and galleries, this group were called the School of London and comprise some of Britain’s most significant modern artists. Their bold, representational painting continues to inspire and captivate visitors.

This exhibition brings together works by members of the School of London from Swindon’s important collection of modern British art. It features Frank Auerbach, Lucien Freud, Richard Hamilton and Leon Kossoff. Recent acquisitions by RB Kitaj and Joe Tilson will be displayed for the first time.

The exhibition features the London School’s friends, teachers and influences, including Henry Moore, Helen Lessore and David Bomberg. It will investigate what made the School of London unique and how it continues to inform the art world.

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery can offer interesting and interactive tours of this exhibition for groups, colleges, universities and schools on Mondays and Tuesdays. Please contact us for more information at smag@swindon.gov.uk.

Swindon Museum & Art Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11.00am to 3.00pm. During Swindon School Holidays, we will be open from 10.00am to 3.00pm. We are open for school and group visits on Monday & Tuesday and at other times by appointment.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
Henry, Moore, Swindon, Modern, Times,

The Bomford Gift

  • 22 February — 1 July 2017 *on now

These were instrumental in encouraging Swindon to establish a modern art collection for the town. Bomford’s gift included drawings and paintings by some of Britain’s best known artists, including Graham Sutherland, Ben Nicholson, LS Lowry and Henry Moore. This exhibition brings together many of the works Bomford gave to Swindon to celebrate his generosity and vision.

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery can offer interesting and interactive tours of this exhibition for groups, colleges, universities and schools on Mondays and Tuesdays. Please contact us for more information at smag@swindon.gov.uk.

Swindon Museum & Art Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11.00am to 3.00pm. During Swindon School Holidays, we will be open from 10.00am to 3.00pm. We are open for school and group visits on Monday & Tuesday and at other times by appointment.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk/event/the-bomford-gift/

Illingworth, art, creative, wiltshire, swindon, museum, council, modern, contemporary

Creative Wiltshire: Celebrating modern art and design from Swindon and Wiltshire

  • 29 March — 1 July 2017 *on now

This exhibition brings together new acquisitions by Joe Tilson, Ken White, Patricia Volk, Sasha Wardell and Katharine Pleydell Bouverie, artists who live or work in Wiltshire. The exhibition also showcases some of the Swindon artists in our modern collection, including Leslie Cole, Walter Poole, Roy Bizley and Harold Dearden.

This exhibition celebrates the creativity of artists, designers and writers from this area and the influence the landscape and culture of Wiltshire has on their work.

Image: K Illingworth, Downland Landscape, 1952, Purchased 1954

Swindon Museum & Art Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11.00am to 3.00pm. During Swindon School Holidays, we will be open from 10.00am to 3.00pm. We are open for school and group visits on Monday & Tuesday and at other times by appointment.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk/event/creative-wiltshire-celebrating-modern-art-and-design-from-swindon-and-wiltshire/

burgess, celebration, studio, ceramics, art, gallery, swindon, coper, rie, finch

Peter Burgess: A Celebration

  • 19 July — 18 November 2017

This exhibition brings together some of Swindon’s earliest and most important ceramic acquisitions, including work by Hans Coper, Lucy Rie, Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie and Ray Finch.

Burgess passed away in 2016.

Swindon Museum & Art Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11.00am to 3.00pm. During Swindon School Holidays, we will be open from 10.00am to 3.00pm. We are open for school and group visits on Monday & Tuesday and at other times by appointment.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk/event/peter-burgess-a-celebration/

Bevan, modern, british, landscapes, swindon, collection, art, gallery

The Lie of the Land: Exploring Modern British Landscapes from the Swindon Collection

  • 19 July — 18 November 2017

It can capture shared experiences of the land, transport us to new locales or challenge us with new interpretations of familiar scenes. Many modern artists have depicted the landscape. They have sought to capture atmosphere and emotional response as well as trying to describe the topography of the land.

This exhibition brings together modern landscape paintings by Paul Nash, Christopher Nevinson, Roger Fry and Mary Fedden. It also explores more experimental approaches to depicting the landscape by Richard Long, Kathy Pendergast and Joe Tilson. The exhibition includes a number of works depicting Swindon and Wiltshire by Edward Buttar, David Rolt and Michael Cullimore.

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery can offer interesting and interactive tours of this exhibition for groups, colleges, universities and schools on Mondays and Tuesdays. Please contact us for more information at smag@swindon.gov.uk

Image: Robert Bevan, Back of the Granary, Poland, 1904

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk/event/the-lie-of-the-land-exploring-modern-british-landscapes-from-the-swindon-collection/

cathy, lomax, art, british, painting, prize, gallery, exhibition, swindon

Cathy Lomax – The British Painting Prize

  • 6 — 30 September 2017

Her projects have included an ongoing Film Diary, ‘Mock Tudor’ inspired by the art of Hans Holbein, and American Tan, which explores Hollywood glamour.

In 2016, Lomax won the inaugural Contemporary British Prize. The competition was organised by Contemporary British Painting in order to celebrate and share the many important and exciting contemporary painters working in Britain today.

This exhibition showcases recent and paintings and three dimensional work concerned with reflection, the gaze and female identity.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk/event/cathy-lomax-the-british-painting-prize/

waldron, odyssey, abstract, paintings, swindon, art

Peter Waldron: Odyssey

  • 11 October — 18 November 2017

This exhibition explores the artist’s life and career to date and brings together a selection of his paintings and sketches.

Waldron was born in Swindon in 1941. After training as a mechanical engineer, he attended Swindon School of Art. He later went on to Chelsea School of Art and worked as an assistant to Patrick Caulfield. After embarking on a successful solo career, he has had numerous exhibitions in Britain and Crete, where he now lives and works each winter.

Swindon Museum & Art Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11.00am to 3.00pm. During Swindon School Holidays, we will be open from 10.00am to 3.00pm. We are open for school and group visits on Monday & Tuesday and at other times by appointment.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
janet, boulton, watercolours, paper, relief, swindon, art, gallery, exhibition

Janet Boulton: Watercolours

  • 29 November 2017 — 20 January 2018

This exhibition celebrates her works on paper and will include paintings inspired by music, still life and gardens.

Boulton was born in Swindon. After art school, she returned to the town and worked as an art teacher at Swindon College, Commonweal and Hreod Parkway. In 1977, Swindon Museum and Art Gallery hosted her exhibition, ‘Windows and Reflections’, inspired by her views from classrooms in the town. Since the late 1970s, she has worked at Ian Hamilton Finlay’s garden at Little Sparta, the Villa La Pietra, and the Garden Museum. Her work is in public and private collections in the UK and abroad.

This exhibition is a welcome return to Swindon from this important artist. It celebrates both her innovative use of watercolour and her engagement with nature, beauty, architecture and music.

Swindon Museum & Art Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11.00am to 3.00pm. During Swindon School Holidays, we will be open from 10.00am to 3.00pm. We are open for school and group visits on Monday & Tuesday and at other times by appointment.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk/event/janet-boulton-watercolours/

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
Bath Road
Old Town
Swindon
Wiltshire
SN1 4BA
England

Website

www.swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk

E-mail

SMAG@swindon.gov.uk

Telephone

01793 466556

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.
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