Discover interesting items from the stories of Cheltenham’s local heroes, to works by Dutch masters and ancient treasures in the villages of Gloucestershire.
Visit the Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum, also known as the Wilson, to discover centuries of local and international history. Explore the lives of Cheltenham’s famous sons and daughters and learn about the Roman-era traditions of the Cotswolds. Browse exhibits of art, ceramics, photography, metalwork and woodcarvings. The Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum opened in 1899 and today presents a through-the-ages portrayal of one of England’s finest Regency towns.
A major attraction of the museum is its showcase of the lifestyles and landscapes of the Cotswold region from the prehistoric era to the present day. Find displays of the colorful plants and animals that inhabit the town’s surrounding countryside. See examples of the handmade tools used to build typical Cotswold stone houses. Admire the paintings that represent rural activities in the nearby hamlet of Dixton.
Retrace Cheltenham’s development from a market town to a Regency spa in the Cheltenham History Galleries. Among its many objects are decorative china, drawings and prints. Spot Neolithic hunting weapons and housewares excavated at Roman villas. View a collection of antiquities from ancient civilizations, including an Egyptian mummy’s foot and an ornamental Greek vase.
Retrace the adventures of Edward Wilson, a locally born explorer who accompanied Captain Robert Falcon Scott on his Antarctica expeditions. Check out Wilson’s fur snowsuit and watercolors, which depict the harsh Antarctic conditions.
Wander through the art galleries, where you’ll find paintings and sculptures that date back to the Renaissance period. The work by Dutch artists Gerrit Dou and Rachel Ruysch form part of the museum’s original collection. Don’t miss the exhibits dedicated to the artists of the Arts and Crafts Movement, most notably the celebrated William Morris.
Located in Cheltenham’s town center, the museum is a short walk from other town attractions. Stroll along the chic Promenade shopping avenue and relax on the exquisite lawns of the Imperial Gardens.
The Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum is open daily and has free admission. Reserve a guided tour for a fee. For more information and details of temporary exhibitions, visit the museum’s official website.