At Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum Arts and Crafts Museum

Very Large Boxes

Part of the facade of Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, grille by Alan Evans and stained glass by Chinks Grylls, 1989The largest of any of the containers is the museum and gallery building itself. An extension to house the new Arts and Crafts Movement Gallery was built in 1989 and in following the tradition of curators commissioning contemporary responses to the collection designers and makers were invited to submit designs for the large gallery window and foyer grille.

The forged metalwork is by Alan Evans who works in Gloucestershire and continues the tradition of British artist blacksmiths. This work in stainless steel, mild steel and aluminium bronze reflects the examples of Arts and Crafts metalwork made during the 1930s in the Cotswolds. If you visit the museum then see if you can spot the squirrel as you walk underneath the grille and then take a look at the squirrel firedogs designed by Ernest Gimson.

The stained glass window designed and made by Chinks Grylls was chosen as her design who inspired by the details found in many of the examples of furniture, pottery and glass in the collection. The colours chosen reflect the only piece of stained glass in the collection, a small panel by Paul Woodroffe, the neon sing lights and the interior colours of the gallery.

The façade of the extension continues the spirit of the Arts and Crafts while providing a vigorous design of its own time. The gallery acts as a unique container for this fascinating and important collection of Arts and Crafts artefacts.

Emery Walker AD 1