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Saturday, 27 August 2016

Q&A With Hadrian Ellory-van Dekker

Hadrian Ellory-van Dekker, Director and Chief Executive of the Trust will oversee all stages of the transition of the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery in it's present location, Apsley House in Bath Road, Old Town, to its new town centre location in the cultural quarter beside the Wyvern Theatre.
He was invited by the Friends committee to come and take part in a question and answer session, to share his vision, and give a time scale for the new museum and art gallery.
The evening was facilitated by Erik Burnett-Godfree, a former education officer at the museum, who gave some useful insights.
They talked to a packed house, and the evening worked really well.
The Evening Advertiser kindly sent a reporter, this is their article:
Roger Ogle was present to report for the Link magazine, Frances Bevan and Graham Carter were representing Swindon Heritage Magazine and Marie Lennon from BBC Wiltshire
 Above Erik Burnett-Godfree introducing himself above and below the packed house:
 A photo of Hadrian on the left and Erik on the right
 Great evening, thank you to Hadrian and Erik, and of course all those who came along and made it such a special event. With special thanks to those who donated raffle prizes, including the Marriott Hotel, Sophie Cummings, The Museum and Art Gallery who donated a goody bag, and the hairdressing voucher and massage voucher.
We were also fundraising to restore two paintings:
 Above 'Landscape' by George Downs, and below 'Night Sky' by Jack Smith
We need to raise almost £1000 to restore the paintings, our raffle raised £161, and entry to the Q&A with Hadrian raised an amount which we can reveal soon. The next fundraising event will be the Magnum wine tasting on 6 October. It's £15 per person. Tickets from the museum.

The Fitzwilliam Museum's Friends

On a recent visit to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, I discovered not only were they celebrating the bicentenary of their opening, but also the Friends of the Fitzwilliam was founded in 1909 by Sir Sydney Cockerell, Director from 1908-1937 to support the Museum and is the oldest such society in Britain. Friends play a vital role in the life of the Fitzwilliam and their contributions are greatly valued. Cockerell's very first purchase from the Friends' first year of subscriptions (a total of £ 116 18s) was a panel of Islamic tiles of c.1600, costing 42 guineas. Cockerell was extremely proud of this acquisition: it reflected his own taste for the arts and crafts of the near East, and the all-pervasive influence of his friend William Morris, for whom he had once worked:
 Above the panel of Islamic tiles, and below some more examples of individual tiles
 Other things I noticed were 2 Kate Malone pieces in a cabinet, the one below is entitled 'Heart' and made in 2001
 and below 'Baby Bud Pumpkin Box' from 1998, both very striking pieces
 There's something lovely about this Dutch Chocolate pot and lid, seen below, made in 1909 with a hand painted Art Nouveau style design:
 The painting of the 2 sisters has been used to advertise the Friends around the museum, I'm hoping we can do something similar, it's a clear message
The 'Two Horsemen' by Leonardo da Vinci about 1481 is fabulous
and this 'Study in Provence' by Augustus John c 1926 is also stunning, it was bequeathed by Louis Clarke (Director from 1937-1946) a lifelong friend of the museum and also of Augustus John
 If you look up in the Fitzwilliam Museum, you see a lot of lovely glass: