Art History in Gloucestershire
Artist of the Antarctic
"Cheltenham-born Edward Wilson is best remembered as a member of the ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott. Besides being a scientist, medical doctor and zoologist, Wilson was an accomplished artist. For evidence of that, take a tour of Cheltenham art gallery in Clarence Street, where you'll find a number of his watercolours on display.
"Wilson was brought up in a house at the Crippets overlooking Leckhampton. As a boy he developed a keen interest in birds and wildlife, which became the subject of many of his sketches. Wilson's paintings of the antarctic are wonderfully evocative and technically impressive. With an economy of style and just a few, sparse brush strokes, Wilson managed to capture the forbidding grandeur of the icy waste in which he perished a few short years later."
Credit: John Southgate, "The Gloucester News", 22nd December 2005
The History of the Cheltenham Open Air Art Exhibition
(now 'Art in the Park')
The following is taken from the Exhibitors newsletter from 1998:
"The first correspondence in our possession is a copy of a minute dated 18.02.1969. This outlines a proposal to hold the first Exhibition in the Imperial gardens from the 4th-13th July 1969 during the period of the Cheltenham festival. The meting was between Mr Flatterley and Mr Shinn of the Art College and Councillor T. Joyner (Chairman of the Libraries & Arts Committee), the Town Clerk, the Entertainments Manager, the Director of Parks and the Assistant Borough Architect. This was the first Open Air Art Exhibition.
"We also have a minute book covering the period from 16 April 1970-20th June 1973 which lists the original Committee formed to continue the Exhibition as an annual event, with Jack Critchley as Chairman, and shows the period of the 1970 exhibition as sat 4th July - Sun 19th July.
"In 1973 the Exhibition was staged for three weeks and established the format which in principal is still followed today, except for the extension to four weeks in recent years"