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Thursday, 12 December 2013

Visit to the Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum on the 4th of December

The trip was instigated by Frameworks, an organisation which aims to bring several museums and art galleries together and encourage an exchange of views between the Friends of Bristol, Bath Holbourn, Cheltenham and Swindon museums and art galleries. There have been visits to Bristol and Bath, apologies for lack of reports on those visits, and hopefully Frameworks will run more trips.
Cheltenham's Museum and Art Gallery opened in October this year, after being closed for almost 2 years for a £5 million demolition and rebuilding of some of the main parts of the building, here's the outside view:

We met in the main reception  2pm, divided into two groups, the first group was shown the arts and crafts gallery first:
 Above an embroidery designed by May Morris in the early 1890s.
From there we were taken into the main art gallery, open for the first time since the late 1980s as a dedicated art gallery space:
 Above Stanley Spencer 'Village Life' 1939-40

 Jake and Dinos Chapman 'One day you will no longer be loved (that it should come to this)' 2010. This is a recent acquisition, I have included the gallery information below.

 We had afternoon refreshments in the area beside the fashion part of the museum the people involved with managing the mannequins were as interesting as their charges:
The second part of the visit involved being shown around the exhibition 'Casting Brilliance: Glass by Colin Reid which runs until 5th of January 2014.
 The piece above is kiln cast and polished optical glass with copper patina. It is cast from rocks on a beach in Japan, and looks fabulous.

 This piece is called 'Cornucopia Mirror' made from Kiln-cast optical glass with copper patina and mirror. Two more pieces can be seen in the reflection.
There is a film accompanying the exhibition which helps elucidate the processes.
In our free time at the end of the organised part of the visit, I saw some of the rest of their collections:
 Above Henry Tonks 'Two Girls in a boat', interesting to see what he produced after reading 'Crisis of Brilliance' about the Slade artists around the time of WW1.

 And photos of some of their pottery store:

This was a wonderful chance to look round Cheltenham's Museum and art gallery, special thanks to Kirsty Hartsiotis and her associate for making our visit so special.
 I'll certainly pay them another visit soon. Links to their pages below:
Facebook: Cheltenham Arts and Crafts Museum

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