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Tuesday, 22 November 2011


This Friday the talk series continues with a visit from Simon McKeown, keeper of antique books at Marlborough College.  He is going to talk about the amazing collection of Bibles owned by the college and even bring along some of the collection for us to look at.


Saturday, 5 November 2011

Denys Hodson Talk was Enjoyed by All last night

If you were there, you'll know what I mean, if you did not attend, you missed out on a fascinating insight into Swindon's history and the gathering of some fine 20th Century paintings.
I have mentioned some of the ones Denys talked about in my Open Studios blog:
but he also said the small L.S. Lowry on display at the moment is one of his finest pictures, and also recounted how the Lucien Freud was purchased.
I resisted the temptation to ask Denys to talk about each painting in the exhibition, but maybe we can ask him to return and talk about some of the others as we are looking at them.
 Denys in the centre of the photograph.
 Waiting to begin.
Pam and Judith to one side of the Maggie Hambling painting

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Friends Talk this Friday 4th November by Denys Hodson on the current 'Builder's Choice ' exhibition.

This talk will be held at the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery on Bath Road at 7.30pm, £3.50 for Friends and £4.50 for non members.
This promises to be an excellent evening.
Here is a list of paintings in the exhibition:
Julian Trevelyan  The Potteries
L.S. Lowry   Winter in Pendlebury
Augustus John   W.B. Yeats
Sir George Clausen  The Reapers
Lucian Freud   Girl with Fig Leaf
Gwen John   Portrait of a Lady
Leonard McComb  Elizabeth Cooper in her wedding dress
Raymond Mason  Ginette Neveu
Walter Richard Sickert Study for Vernet's. Dieppe
Sir William Rothenstein Barn at Far Oakridge
Mark Lancaster   Cambridge, July 1969
Lisa Milroy   Small Objects
Richard Hamilton  Interior Study (a)
Richard Long   Two Walks
Tom Phillips   Play: Here We Exemplify
Richard Smith   Once
Gillian Ayres   Florestan
Vanessa Bell   Nude with Poppies
John Skeaping   Study (Roe Deer)
Kenneth Martin   The Bed
Duncan Grant   Standing Woman
Ben Nicholson   Composition in Black and White
Michael Ayrton   Roman Window
Maggie Hambling  Descent of the Bull's Head
John Bellany   Self Portrait with Julia
Edward Wadsworth  Bright Intervals
Terry Frost   Grey Red and Black Verticals
Howard Hodgkin  Gramophone
William Turnbull  Mask
David Bomberg   The South-East Corner, Jerusalem
Ivon Hitchens   Spring in Eden
Henry Moore   Three Women and a Child
Cecil Collins   The Sibyl
Graham Sutherland  Landscape with rocks
Stephen Tomlin  Virginia Woolf
Christopher Le Brun  Hyperion
Leon Kossoff   Booking Hall No.6
William Roberts  Study for 'Bank Holiday in the Park'
Hubert Cook   Electric Welder
Jack Smith   Night Sky

Thursday, 13 October 2011

FREE TALK Friday 14th October

PRESS RELEASE. 13 October 2011
The Friends of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery present

Friday 14th October 7.30 pm.  

A talk by David Dawson, director of the Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes, on the museum, which houses the best Bronze Age archeology collection in the UK, as well as many Neolithic finds associated with Avebury and Stonehenge, more recent history and an extensive natural history collection. The talk will also cover items that have been found in the Swindon area that are kept in Devizes; and will look at the funding model that allows the Wiltshire Heritage Museum to exist as an independent museum.

Friday 14th October After the talk
There will be a break for refreshments followed by the Swindon Museum Friends’ AGM, giving plenty of time to have a drink and then shoot off. However people can stay for the AGM at little risk as we already have enough people to sit on the committee and they won’t be strong armed into doing work. However this is the best opportunity for member of the Friends and for non-members to have their say about the activities of the Friends and about how they would like to see the Museum develop.

There is also now a Friends of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery blogspot, which currently only contains this press release, but which will soon be much more informative. It can be found at:


Notes to Editors:

∑ Venue info:
Swindon Museum & Art Gallery, Bath Road, Old Town, Swindon, Wilts SN1 4BA. Tel. 01793 466556.

General Admission: Free. Opening hours: Mon – Sat 10am – 5pm. Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays. Museum and art gallery on several floors, please contact for access details.

Phone the museum on 01793 466556 for info on access.

For further information please contact the museum on 01793 466556
or Paul Ricketts, Friends of Swindon Museum & Art Gallery chairman.
Tel: 01672 39688 E-mail:

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Visit to The Bate Collection


It was a great morning at the Bate Collection of Musical Instruments, in the Faculty of Music at Oxford University.  Being the most comprehensive collection in Britain of European woodwind, brass and percussion we expected a special morning but thanks to Andy Lamb who is one the most entertaining of guides the experience was informative and amusing.  The tour started with Paul being being asked to play a harpsichord that turned out to be Handels.  

The photographs give a glimpse but like many of Oxford University museums it deserves a trip so if you find yourself in Oxford take a visit.