Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
Shop icon Study area icon

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

Tuesday - Saturdays
10am - 5pm

Closed: Sun, Mon and 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.
Bohemian Rhapsody, Susan Carr - Paint me this way!

Paint Me This Way! An exhibition of portraits by Susan Carr

  • 12 July — 9 September 2017 *on now

It comprises 29 painted portraits, 6 sculptures and 80 collages, all designed collaboratively with 7 patients living with severe illness.

Artist Susan Carr used her recent PhD to explore portrait therapy – a way of using art to resolve disrupted identities in patients living with life threatening or chronic illnesses. Carr paints portraits as a way of helping individuals retell their own stories and share them with the world.

During the exhibition a self-portrait ‘art station’ will be provided, to encourage visitors (both young and old) to draw their own self-portraits. These will be added to a ‘wall of portraiture’ at the gallery, so come along and have a go!

A Portrait Trail activity sheet will also be available for young children, offering further learning activities & interaction with the portraits.

Twitter: @portraitsrus1

www.susanmcarr.co.uk

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
Gillian Ayres  Florestan, 1986  Oil on canvas  Presented to Swindon by the Contemporary Art Society, 1988

The Contemporary Art Society and the Swindon Collection

  • 19 July — 26 August 2017 *on now

This exhibition showcases their support and generosity by displaying a selection of these works.

The exhibition features some of the most significant abstract paintings in the collection by Gillian Ayres, Terry Frost and Roger Hilton, alongside important modernist works by Patrick Hayman and Charles Blackman, and contemporary watercolours and ceramics given to Swindon in the 21st century.

This exhibition continues our celebration of the individuals and organisations whose generosity and guidance have helped create the Swindon Collection of Modern British Art. It follows an exhibition of works given to Swindon in the 1940s by HJP Bomford and a display of the Ron Sloman Gift, an ongoing donation of contemporary ceramics.

The Contemporary Art Society exists to encourage an appreciation and understanding of contemporary art by a wide audience and to donate works by important and new artists to museums and public galleries across the UK.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
burgess, celebration, studio, ceramics, art, gallery, swindon, coper, rie, finch

Peter Burgess: A Celebration

  • 19 July — 18 November 2017 *on now

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 *on now

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 Blind Spot

  • 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
Pioneers

Pioneers: Highlights from the Swindon Collection of Studio Ceramics

  • 28 November 2017 — 10 March 2018

Bringing together the most significant modern and contemporary ceramic artists in our collection, it highlights the diversity and excitement of ceramics.

Beginning with Bernard Leach and his role as the father of British studio ceramics, the exhibition features Lucy Rie, Hans Coper and Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie. Complex and experimental ceramic sculpture by Gordon Baldwin, Grant Aston and Sara Radstone will sit alongside exquisite porcelain and bone china from Sasha Wardell, Edmund de Waal and Fenella Elms.

Pioneers also celebrates the donors and collectors who helped establish Swindon’s collection of ceramics and continue to help it grow.

Website

http://swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk/event/pioneers-highlights-from-the-swindon-collection-of-studio-ceramics/

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.
advertisement