The collection at Cheltenham includes furniture, pottery, silver, metalwork, jewellery, plasterwork, leatherwork, private press books, textiles and embroideries as well as important archives.
The Cotswolds were an important centre for the Arts and Crafts Movement so the collection has a strong local base. From the 1920s close links were forged between the local designers, artists and makers and the Art Gallery & Museum by the librarian-curator, Daniel Herdman.
Exhibitions of work were held regularly in Cheltenham, Painswick and Chipping Campden. In 1951 a major exhibition of Cotswold Craftsmanship was organised by the Art Gallery & Museum as part of the Festival of Britain.
Arts and Crafts work was acquired by the Art Gallery & Museum from the 1930s. Featured designers include Gimson and the Barnsleys, and the husband and wife team, Alfred and Louise Powell, at Sapperton and other villages round Cirencester and, in the north Cotswolds, C R Ashbee and the Guild of Handicraft at Chipping Campden and Gordon Russell in Broadway. There is also a collection of studio pottery based round the work of Michael Cardew and Ray Finch at the Winchcombe Pottery in Gloucestershire.
Since the 1970s the collection has been developed to give a national overview including pieces by William Morris, CFA Voysey, M H Baillie Scott, A Romney Green, Eric Gill and Archibald Knox. Also represented are Arts and Crafts designs aimed at the popular market by Liberty's, Heal and Son and other manufacturers.
The Arts and Crafts Movement had a tremendous influence on the teaching of art, craft and design throughout the 20th century which survives into the 21st. We also continue to acquire contemporary craft and commission pieces for the galleries to this day, actively continuing the tradition begun by Daniel Herdman.