Frameworks: Great art in the West

Posted on by Fay Curtis.

frameworks logoFrameworks aims to raise the profile of five art collections that include world class historical, modern and contemporary fine and applied arts, all within an hour’s drive or a forty-minute train journey of each other.

Frameworks began in 2013 and is a partnership between:

See a map of all the venues.

Frameworks is supported by Arts Council England.

See below for Frameworks news, exhibitions, events and projects.

Pioneering Pottery

A vessel by Hans Coper, 1970

In autumn 2017, three new displays showcase some of the best modern studio pottery in south west collections.

Discover Elton ware and experimental glazes at Victoria Art Gallery, an astonishing former schools collection at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery and recent sculptural ceramics by high profile artists at Swindon Museum & Art Gallery.

There are ways to get involved, too. You can get your hands on some wet clay and have a go at basic pottery techniques; watch demonstrations; visit a makers’ fair; and hear from some of the region’s best known ceramics makers and experts.


Modern Art in Britain

Painting by Howard Hodgkin called Gramophone

1964 – 1967 28 x 36 inches (71 x 92cm) Oil on canvas
© Howard Hodgkin
On display at the Holburne Museum 28 Feb – 7 June 2015

Modern Art in Britain starts in December 2014 and runs through to autumn 2015, with five overlapping exhibitions and displays, one in each Frameworks partner venue.

It highlights gems in each museum’s collection, collectively featuring over 50 artists. There are many household names such as Barbara Hepworth, Alfred Wallis, Richard Hamilton, Lucian Freud and Howard Hodgkin, alongside artists deserving of a fresh look, such as Jack Smith, and younger contemporary artists whose work resonates with 20th Century art in the collections.

All of the displays include loans from the significant Swindon Collection. Between them they span 100 years of British painting and works on paper, shedding new light on approaches to modernism in all the collections through themes of reality and fantasy, domesticity and foreign lands, space and time, bodies and stories.

An Open Window
The Wilson, Cheltenham: 13 December 2014 – 8 March 2015
Read about the exhibition arriving at The Wilson.

Present Tense
Swindon Museum and Art Gallery: 14 January – 18 April 2015
Read more about Present Tense from Swindon Museum & Art Gallery’s curator.

Reality Questioned
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery: 17 January – 31 August 2015
Find out more about the Reality Questioned exhibition.

Beryl Cook: Intimate Relations plus The Human Clay
Victoria Art Gallery: Beryl Cook ends 3 May 2015, The Human Clay continues until November
Read more about Intimate Relations plus The Human Clay.

Gwen John to Lucian Freud
The Holburne Museum: 28 Feb – 7 Jun 2015
Home and the World: Dexter Dalwood selects from the Swindon Collection


Turner: Watercolours from the West

Watercolour of a cave by JMW Turner

The Mouth of the Avon © Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

Turner: Watercolours from the West brings together works from the Holburne Museum, Victoria Art Gallery, the Wilson and a private collection, and is the first outing of Bristol Museum & Art Gallery’s new acquisition ‘The Mouth of the Avon, Seen from a Cave below Clifton’.

These detailed early Bristol and Bath scenes show the emergence of interests that can still be seen in his looser, more atmospheric later works.

The exhibition ran at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery from 1 May – 6 July 2014 where it received nearly 20,000 visitors. It then ran at Swindon Museum & Art Gallery from 15 October – 13 December 2014.

You can still see it at:

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