Bath to help celebrate West art collections.

The upper gallery at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath.

An exciting new project named ‘Modern Art in Britain’ is set to launch in the West this month with exhibitions running in Bath, Bristol,  Swindon and Cheltenham through till autumn 2015.

The Holburne Museum
The Holburne Museum

It is the latest offering from a collaboration of five of the region’s Museums called ‘Frameworks; Great Art in the West’ which is a working partnership between Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, the Holburne Museum and the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath, The Wilson in Cheltenham and Swindon Museum & Art Gallery.

Individual exhibitions launching at each of the museums will show the quality and diversity of art collections in the West. Modern Art in Britain will highlight modern gems in each museum’s collection by featuring over 50 artists including many household names such as Barbara Hepworth, Alfred Wallis, Richard Hamilton, Lucian Freud and Howard Hodgkin.

All of the exhibitions will include loans from the significant Swindon Collection; between them spanning 100 years of British painting and works on paper. *(Further information on dates, times, venues can be found in notes to editor).

Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives played a leading role in setting up the partnership which was developed last year with funding from Arts Council England as part of a Major Partner Museum agreement to help strengthen relationships between arts organisations.

Bristol Councillor Simon Cook, Assistant Mayor for the Arts, said: “This is a great achievement for museums in the West and goes to show how our organisations can work together to create something diverse and exciting.

The Rotunda at the top of the staircase in the Victoria Art Gallery.
The Rotunda at the top of the staircase in the Victoria Art Gallery.

“I’m very proud of Bristol Museum & Art Gallery who played a key role in initiating the Frameworks collaboration. I hope that this partnership can be continued in the future in order to make the most of our combined resources.”

Karen MacDonald, Creative Partnerships Officer for Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives said: “This is all within an hour’s drive time or a forty-minute train ride.
“We are looking at how we can join forces and work collaboratively to research our collections and make them more available to the public. Curators across the museums have been inspired by visiting each other’s collections.

We started with an intimate touring show of watercolours by JMW Turner, which can still be seen in Bath and Cheltenham in spring 2015.

‘Modern Art in Britain’ celebrates Swindon’s wonderful collection and sheds new light on British approaches to modernism through all the museums’ holdings.”

Each individual exhibition will be running from the following dates:

The Wilson, Cheltenham: 13 Dec 2014 – 8 March 2015
An Open Window

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery: 14 Jan – 18 April 2015
Present Tense

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery: 17 Jan 2015 – 31 Aug 2015
Reality Questioned

The Holburne Museum, Bath: 28 Feb – 7 June 2015
Gwen John to Lucian Freud. Home and the World: Dexter Dalwood selects from the Swindon Collection

Victoria Art Gallery, Bath: 7 March – Nov 2015
Beryl Cook: Intimate Relations (until 3 May) plus The Human Clay (until Nov)

For more details and links to all the partners’ sites, see: www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/frameworks