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The Wilson: major new exhibition 'Embrace'


Art exhibitions at The Wilson

Embrace: The exhibition runs from 18 January to 21 April 2014

Notions of love and the embrace have fascinated artists across the centuries and this major exhibition, the second in the newly reopened art gallery and museum, will explore the work of artists of the 20th century and onwards whose work represents the tenderness, intimacy and passion of an embrace.

Depicted through a range of media including painting, sculpture, photography and film, the exhibition will include work by Jacob Epstein, Marc Chagall, Eileen Agar, Gilbert and George, Charlie Murphy, Kenneth Armitage, Emma Critchley, Chris Ofili, David Inshaw and Eileen Cooper on loan from national museums, galleries and private collections.

Jane Lillystone, museum, arts and tourism manager, says: “We are delighted to open Embrace at The Wilson at this time of year with Valentines Day just around the corner.

“To complement the exhibition, we have a romantic events programme which includes a Valentine’s Day evening with a French theme, a variety of practical art activities for children and families, and dance performances inspired by the exhibition and the sculptor Camille Claudel, who trained with Rodin.”


Rodin’s world renowned marble sculpture The Kiss returns to Cheltenham on 14 February as part of the Embrace exhibition, 80 years after it was first here. The sculpture will be on display until 10 August.

Now in the collection at the Tate, The Kiss first came to Cheltenham in 1933 because the sculpture failed to reach its reserve price at the sale held after the owner, Mr Warren’s death in 1929.  Realising it wasn’t a good time to sell, the beneficiary of Warren’s will offered the sculpture to any provincial gallery who could pay for the transport and insurance. The offer was taken up by Cheltenham and the sculpture was shown in the Art Gallery & Museum for three years. After this it went on loan to the Tate and in 1952 the Tate launched a successful public campaign to buy The Kiss for the nation.

The Kiss will be displayed in the Atrium, part of the newly designed and recently opened building and is the inspiration for The Wilson’s second major exhibition, Embrace.


Explore Gloucestershire
16 January 2014


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