Five new works added to Museum and Art Gallery collection

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery has recently been gifted five exceptional works by Harold Dearden (1888 – 1962).

Published: Thursday, 7th July 2022

Art donation

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.

Councillor Matty Courtliff, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage, Leisure and Town Centre Experience, said: “We are thrilled to have been gifted these five artworks by two different donors. They will accompany 10 works already in Swindon’s modern and contemporary art collection by this important artist with a local connection.

"We are very grateful for these donations which will greatly enhance our collection, credited with being one of the best in the UK, and we look forward to including them in future exhibitions so local people can appreciate them at first hand.”

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.

While work is ongoing to reopen Swindon Museum and Art Gallery at the Council’s Civic Offices in Euclid Street, many artworks and heritage items from the Museum and Art Gallery collection can be viewed in a variety of locations in the town, as part of the Art on Tour programme.

For details of current Art on Tour exhibitions and upcoming talks, please visit:

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