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Recent Acquisitions

Nicola Tyson and Monster Chetwynd

Swindon Museum & Art Gallery (Swindon MAG) continues to acquire works for its collections.  Here is a selection of some of the most recent acquisitions.

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery has successfully acquired its first work through the Arts Council England’s Acceptance in Lieu scheme.

The scheme criteria looks at whether the object has an especially close association with our history and national life, does it have especial artistic or art-historical interest, and is it of especial importance for the study of some particular form of art, learning or history?


Donation of 5 Works by Harold Dearden

Harold Dearden


Five exceptional works by Harold Dearden (1888 – 1962) have been gifted to Swindon Museum and Art Gallery.

The first gift is a large painting entitled ‘Blackberry Time’ and shows a family picking blackberries with a quintessential Dearden rolling countryside behind.

The second gift is a selection of four drawings. Two are part of the same study of a woman and horses, in one she is riding; in the other, she is collecting eggs. Another is a father and son playing with a model aeroplane. The last is a woodcut style work showing a man cutting wood.

The five artworks have been gifted by two different donors. They will accompany 10 works already in our modern and contemporary art collection by this important artist with a local connection.

Harold Dearden studied at Rochdale School of Art, then at the Royal College of Art. A painter in oil and watercolour and a strong draughtsman, Dearden went on to become head of Swindon Art School for 30 years from 1920 and was president for a time of Swindon Artists’ Society.


Latin Quarter, 1922

latin, quarter, 1922, christopher, nevinson, drypoint, print

The print acquired, Latin Quarter, 1922, is by Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson (13 August 1889 – 7 October 1946), an English figure and landscape painter, etcher and lithographer, who was one of the most famous war artists of World War I. He is often referred to by his initials C. R. W. Nevinson, and was also known as Richard.






Malene Hartmann Rasmussen – Nightfall, 2014

SwiMalene Hartmann Rasmussen – Nightfall, 2014ndon MAG has acquired a remarkable ceramic piece called ‘Nightfall’ (2014) by Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, thanks to the generous support of the Contemporary Art Society.

Since 1947, the Contemporary Art Society has gifted more than forty paintings, drawings and ceramics to Swindon Museum and Art Gallery.

This latest acquisition, Nightfall, is a ceramic nest made of black antlers, speckled acorn eggs and delicate butterflies. It is inspired by woodlands and Scandinavian folktales and will be on display at the Museum and Art Gallery from 12 February.

Rasmussen was born in Denmark in 1973 and has lived in London since 2009, when she studied ceramics at the Royal College of Art. In 2018, she was a resident artist at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London for six months, where she created new ceramics inspired by the French 16th century Potter Bernard Palissy. Her work has featured in Ceramic Review, Crafts magazine and the Observer. In 2019, she has a solo exhibition at Messums in Wiltshire and at Arter Museum in Istanbul.

Acquisitions, 2018

The CoNicola Tyson and Monster Chetwyndntemporary Art Society (CAS) has gifted Swindon MAG seven works on paper by two of Britain’s most fascinating contemporary female artists, Nicola Tyson and Monster Chetwynd. A painting by the former Keeper of the Royal Academy, Eileen Cooper OBE RA, has been purchased with the generous support of the Friends of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, and the V&A Purchase Fund. This acquisition was made possible with the assistance of Eileen Cooper and Rabley Contemporary Gallery.

Works by Swindon artist, David Bent Hon CRAeS 

We are delighted to announce their most recent acquisitions to the Collections via the Creative Wiltshire project.



These new works by David Bent include a stunning landscape painting and prints by local artist David Bent.  The painting, Beach House West of Looe, from David’s Landscape Geometry series and two prints from his innovative Aerobot photo collage collection which were first exhibited at the nearby Royal International Air Tattoo.

This work has been purchased by the Creative Wiltshire project, which aims to acquire works by creative people across Swindon and Wiltshire.

Donation of 50 works

An anonymous donor has given fifty works of prints, paintings and drawings in appreciation of Meryl Ainslie’s services to the Arts.

Allen Jones One Night Only 2003 print


Meryl Ainslie MA is founder of Rabley Drawing Centre a gallery and drawing school located near Marlborough which specialises in drawings, works on paper and original prints. She worked at Swindon School of Art between 1993 and 2004 and was instrumental in the development and delivery of the successful higher education programme in Fine Art Drawing.

The gift includes works from artists Duncan Grant, Allen Jones, Michael Ayrton and Basil Beattie and Adrian Heath, and also includes artists with a strong association to Wiltshire and the West Country, such as Nicholas Monro, Adrian Heath and Peter Joyce. It also contains contemporary artists including Nana Shiomi, Alison Lambert and Lin Jammet.

Contemporary West Country Ceramics

Contemporary West Country Ceramics


Two ceramics featured in last year’s popular exhibition ‘From Where I’m Standing’ have been acquired for Swindon. Sarah Purvey’s ceramic vessel ‘Witnessed’ was purchased by the Friends of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery and presented to the museum.

Fenella Elms


Fenella Elms’ ceramic sculpture was presented by the artist herself. Swindon acquired Elms’ ‘Flow Pot’ in 2015 with the support of the Contemporary Art Fund


The Ron Sloman Gift

Three contemporary ceramics by Akiko Hirai, Christine Feiler and Masamichi Yoshikawab have been added to the Ron Sloman Collection. This collection was established in memory of the art dealer Ron Sloman.


two finger rings and a seal matrix


Three recently acquired archaeological finds are on temporary display in the Archaeology gallery. The items – two finger rings and a seal matrix, were discovered by local archaeologists and came to Swindon via the Portable Antiquities Scheme. The items were found in Hannington and Chiseldon. Their acquisition was supported by the Archaeology Advisory Board and the museum’s donations fund.