Touring the Swindon Collection (with the Bomford Gift), 60 Years On

Exhibition ends 9th November 2019.  Admission FREE. Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, Bath Road, Swindon, SN1 4BA. Open Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 – 16:30. Free lunchtime talk 20th September 2019, 12:30 – 13:00

In 1959, the Swindon Collection of Modern British art began a tour of 16 towns and cities of the United Kingdom.  From Falmouth to Sunderland, Southend-on-Sea to Bolton, thousands of museum visitors were introduced to paintings by Paul Nash, LS Lowry, Gwen John and Graham Sutherland. This exhibition celebrates the sixtieth anniversary of this tour, which introduced the people of Britain to Swindon’s remarkable art and established the reputation of the ‘Swindon Collection’.

The original foreword to the tour in 1959 (by Harold Joliffe, Librarian and Curator) paid tribute to the contribution by Mr H.J.P. ‘Jimmy’ Bomford, of Aldbourne who generously gave a number of works to the Swindon Collection in 1946.  These include paintings by Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson, L.S. Lowry and Paul Nash.  “Composition” by Jankel Adler forms part of the exhibition. Adler, a protégé of Jimmy Bomford, lived in Castle Street, Aldbourne until his death in 1949.

This exhibition brings together the 44 works of art sent on tour in 1959 and presents them alongside some of the most important acquisitions made by Swindon Museum & Art Gallery in the decades since. The exhibition explores the history of the collection and the ambitions and challenges of touring so many pictures to so many places.

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