The Wiltshire town of Swindon is often spoken of in derogatory terms around here, by way of warnings as to what the towns and villages will become with unrestrained development. It is a town large enough to have suburban areas and an area off its centre known as Old Town. I was interested to find in the Old Town, Swindon’s Museum and Art Gallery boasting close to 600 works of fine art. Yesterday, I went down to have a look.
The museum is in what looks like an Edwardian town house, which at one time was an office, and on this rather damp day, evoked a smell of wet playtime in primary school. Smaller rooms are dedicated to the town’s history, archaeology, and natural history but the main room upstairs has made a pretty good art gallery.
There were two exhibitions running the day I visited, The Euston Road School of Artists and Paper. The second of these was the most interesting and varied, essentially a show of modern and contemporary art. Even the ceramics and sculptures I thought interesting, and I’m usually just a paintings and drawings guy.
With around 600 pieces in their collection, the shows are changed quite frequently and I expect they have the ability to loan out and borrow in some good works in exchange. I was impressed with those in the show.
There are a couple of car parks within walking distance however I found a free space in a nearby street for one hour only. That’s probably plenty for a couple of walks around the exhibition and a chat with the curator. Well worth it.