Become a Friend of the Swindon Museumand Art Gallery

For only £15 a year, you can become a Friend and receive links to our Zoom talks. To become a Friend or find out more about us, go to the website

Friday, 29 June 2012

Kind Donation of a Portrait of Ruby Mutter by Hubert Cook

The portrait of Ruby by Hubert Cook was painted when she was 24 years of age in 1936. It was in the possession of her son, Brian Goddard who kindly donated to the Museum and Art Gallery.
He came to Swindon with his wife to donate the painting on Wednesday the 27th of June, a few of the Friends had assembled with Emma Cook to welcome them.
Here is a photograph of the painting:
 And a couple of photographs of the hand over:
Paul unwrapping the painting.

And above posing for a photograph being taken by Richard Wintle, on the left is Brian Goddard, on the right Emma Cook and Paul Ricketts. is Richard's website, the link to get right to the photographs taken by Richard:

Hubert Cook 1901-1966 was born in Wroughton and worked as a machinist in the Swindon Railway Works until 1944.
He was best known for his lithographs which were purchased by the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the War Artists Advisory Committee.
I took some photographs of some of the lithographs displayed for Mr Goddard to see.
 'Lifting a Heat from the Boiler Shop Furnace' 1945 lithograph print 4 of 7
 'Sawing White Hot Metal - Swindon GWR Rolling Mills ' 1939 lithograph print 3 of 10
'Unloading at a Railway Siding' Lithograph print 3 of 6.
'Roger's Lido, Knaresborough' 1945 Oil on board. This work was painted while Hubert Cook was when he was with the Ministry of Aircraft Production in Yorkshire.
Isn't it amazing how well some things are kept? The above poster was for an exhibition  of paintings and drawings by Hubert Cook at the Arts Centre in Regent Street.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Rosa Mathieson's talk on 'Women in the Railway' on Friday the 22nd of June

Rosa gave a real insight into life in the GWR works and life in general in the 1930, 40s and 50s. What was so interesting was that she showed many photographs of people who she had interviewed and knew personally.
It left me realising how little I know about people's actual lives in those days.
As a woman, I have been very conscious that History is usually just as it sounds, with an 's' missing.
I took a few photographs, here is one of a group of women:

And here's Rosa closing the computer down:
And people mingling, looking at the exhibition and heading for the wine:
Rosa also had copies of her book produced for the Book Project which aims to raise funds to help women in Nepal to help them selves.
Here's the cover of this fascinating book:
Stop Press:
There may be a trip in September to Chiswick House, there's a quiz on the 28th of September, Mike Yates will talk on 'Smashing Pots' on the 26th of October and John Farrow will talk about 'Ashdown House' on the 30th of November.
A proper flyer coming soon.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Visit to Kelmscott on the 31st of May

We met up at 10am at Kelmscott Manor for a talk and guided tour.
I knew this was going to be a truly fabulous day out, and so it proved to be, if you were there, you experienced it, and if you weren't, you missed a wonderful experience, try and go on the next trip.
Kelmscott Manor was the country home of William Morris - poet, craftsman and socialist from 1871 until his death in 1896.
The house contains a collection of the possessions and works of William Morris and his associates, including furniture, textiles, carpets and ceramics.
We were divided into 2 groups and given a guided tour of the house which lasted over an hour by a very knowledgeable guide.
What were the highlights for me?
Making the connection between Morris's liking of Isnik pottery and his use of colour and floral designs. I bought a plate from the shop which has a typical Isnik design from about 1550. It's shown below, it's gorgeous and is a joy to look at each day.

Other highlights were Morris's bed with embroideries by Jane and May Morris and the wallpaper designed by Morris on many of the walls.
 The television programme shown on Tuesday the 12th of June 'All in the Best Possible Taste With Grayson Perry' looked at the middle classes, William Morris's 'Willow Pattern' wallpaper in Tunbridge Wells was cited as the height of good taste.
We were not allowed to take photographs of the inside of the house, but I think I made up for the lack of interior images with some from outside the house.
Here we are gathering outside the front of the house. You might just be able to see Paul taking photos.
 What a brilliant idea for a covered walkway to a door.
And what a lovely place to sit.
Imagine having the Thames along one of the garden boundaries.
After the rigours of the morning, a pub lunch was called for at the pub down the road, the Plough.
To find out more about visiting Kelmscott Manor, please visit the website at:
To find out about 'A Walk Round the Gallery with Denys Hodson on the 30th of April' please visit:
Here's one of many photograph taken for that entry:
'Nonny' by R. Ossory Dunlop 1933-34, this is one of my favourite paintings in the exhibition.