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To mark the opening of the exhibition, Pop and Prosperity:1960s British Art from the Swindon Collection, we held an opening night, and also took the opportunity to introduce two new part time outreach workers at the museum and unveil a new painting we had been given by our Patron, Desmond Morris.

We started the evening with an opening of the exhibition by Katie Ackrill who has been appointed Art on Tour Project Engagement Officer at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery.
 Art on Tour is a project to advertise our Collections more widely, currently at STEAM Museum and also the Civic Offices in Euclid Street.

 Mags Parker, seen in the picture above near the wall, also spoke about her new role as Education Officer at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery. On a recent visit to New College, she asked how many of the students studying art had been to the Museum, out of a group of approximately 15 students, only 2 had visited the gallery.

I took a few photos of the assembled Friends – it was a very popular evening, with about 80 present.

After Katie and Mags introduced themselves and how they saw their roles, the big event of the evening for me, was to unveil the painting we had been given by Desmond Morris, the choosing of the picture is written about in the previous blog post. The painting had been very well wrapped by Rona Marsden, who runs Rona’s Gallery where Desmond’s work was being shown, but was finally revealed. Erik Burnett-Godfree kindly agreed to talk about Desmond Morris and the painting, and a bit about why we had chosen it.

I love the painting and think people were very pleased with our choice.

There was then time to chat and look at the Glyn Uzzell exhibition in the smaller part of the gallery…

We now have three paintings by Desmond Morris, from his early period, Girl Selling Flowers, 1948, currently in the Civic Offices as part of the Art on Tour project…

…and Mysterious Gift, 1965 which is in the current exhibition.

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