Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum will be re-opening to the public on the 5th October 2013, after a major new build costing in the region of £6 million.
This elegant and stylish building, designed by architects Berman Guedes Stretton, has something for everybody, whether they are local to the area, or coming to Cheltenham for the first time.
Four new floors will house a gallery dedicated to the Art Gallery & Museum’s extensive fine art collection, space to discover more about local heroes, including the great Edward Wilson (one of Scott’s key men on his 1912 expedition to Antarctica), a re-interpreted Arts and Crafts gallery (showing the world-renowned designated collection), and two superb temporary exhibition galleries – for showing national and international touring shows, special highlights from the collections and fun shows for families.
The redevelopment will also become the new home for the town’s tourism services - with the re-location of Cheltenham’s Tourist Information Centre to the Art Gallery & Museum – including the opening of a new ground floor café-bistro, serving delicious eats (daytime and evening).
The Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen will also have a new retail outlet, called the “Guild at 51”, selling and showing beautiful and contemporary crafts on the site, and the Art Gallery & Museum will be working with the University of Gloucestershire, in co-hosting national touring shows in the new galleries.
Councillor Rowena Hay, Cabinet Member for Leisure & Culture, said: “The re-development will create a fantastic new centre for Cheltenham, through its extensive galleries and enhanced facilities, including its partnerships with the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen, the University of Gloucestershire and the re-location of the town’s tourism services – it will be the perfect destination for all visitors to Gloucestershire and the wider Cotswolds.”
Jane Lillystone, Museum, Arts & Tourism Manager, stated: “The new building will transform Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, allowing for improved access and enhanced opportunities for the display of its locally, regionally, nationally and internationally important art and heritage collections. Treasures from our collections will come into the public view for the first time, whilst the new galleries will enable Cheltenham to become a major venue for national and international touring exhibitions. Our aim is to become a cultural hub for the town - a place where everyone (of all ages) is welcome.”
Once the building is completed, there will be a key handing-over ceremony, followed by a programme of re-canting and fitting-out works.
The Art Gallery & Museum will open on the 5th October with a unique exhibition, Casting Brilliance: Colin Reid, celebrating the work of this internationally-renowned local glass artist, followed by the open west (an annual open competition and exhibition) featuring work from international and national artists, after its debut show at the National Trust’s Newark Park.
We are also currently developing an exciting programme of exhibitions for 2014, including a touring show from the National Portrait Gallery – and details of the programme and the official opening events will be released shortly.