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Thursday, 17 January 2019

Gifted! - new exhibition in the main gallery

Or to give it the full title: Gifted! How gifts and donation have shaped the Swindon Collection of Modern British Art, I've copied what they say on their website about the exhibition:
Gifted! explores the gifts, bequests and donations that have helped establish Swindon’s collection as one of the most important collections of modern British art outside London. From early benefactor Jimmy Bomford and Frederick Phelps, to the longstanding support of the Contemporary Art Society and Art Fund, the exhibition explores how gifts have shaped the collection and provided Swindon with some remarkable and challenging works of art.
The exhibition includes paintings by LS Lowry, Graham Sutherland and Alfred Wallis, along with more recent work by Nicola Tyson, Eileen Cooper and Allen Jones.
As well as exploring the legacy of major gifts and benefactors, the exhibition also shines a light on some lesser known contributions from the Campaign to Protect Rural England and Soroptimist International.
The exhibition is fantastic, some of my favourite paintings are on display. It's well worth having a look at the exhibition which runs until 16 March. I've picked out a few  examples of work in the exhibition and taken a few general overviews of the gallery.
 I'm starting with George Downs, 'Landscape' because it looks so fantastic after it's conservation which the Friends supported, the odd angle is an error in my photography.
 Another painting the Friends helped conserve, and which is consequently now sparkly bright is Jack Smith's 'Night Sky' which looks fabulous.
I know from time spent on the front desk, that people who come to visit Swindon Museum and Art Gallery love to see the really famous artists' work we have, so I know they will be flocking to see the two LS Lowry paintings which are hung together:
'Winter in Pendelbury' which was one of the original Bomford gift paintings, on the left and 'A Procession' on the right which was bequeathed by Anthony Carlisle through the Art Fund in 1993.
 Here are some general views of walls to whet your appetite, I want you to come and see the exhibition, so this post is intended as a taster

 It's looking great isn't it? Three of my favourites below. How does Ronald Ossory Dunlop produce such memorable portraits?

 Isn't it wonderful to see Mary Fedden's 'Spanish Chair' on display again?
 And on display for the first time in the gallery, 'Regent Circus' painted in 1945 by Harold Dearden and purchased with the help of the Friends.
A reminder that the Art and Conflict exhibition is on until Saturday 19 January


  1. The first pic above (Downs) has something of the Chagall about it - reminded me of a work that they had in the RA show about 30, maybe 40 years ago. The penultimate one (Dearden) took me back to those dear, dead (miserable at the time) days when you had a choice of weekly magazines to take home on Saturday night, before going out again to "the pictures": John Bull, Illustrated, Picture Post and Everybody's. Art can unlock enormous stores of memory! - JDW

    1. Thank you for your comments on the post. I'm glad the photos struck a chord with you. I hope you will be able to visit the exhibition.