burton art gallery and museum
gallery highlights




Kingsley Road, Bideford, Devon EX39 2QQ

Telephone: 01237 471455
Email: info@theburton.org

Admission is Free
Open Daily 10am - 4pm
Sundays 11am - 4pm

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The Ackland and Edwards Collection

The Ackland and Edwards Collection consists of watercolours, drawings, and dioramas of local topographical or historical interest, produced by Judith Ackland and Mary Stella Edwards between 1913 – 1965 and was presented to the Burton Art Gallery and Museum by Mary Stella Edwards.

Judith Ackland was born in Bideford and attended the town’s art school for several years before going to London, where she met fellow student Mary Stella Edwards at the Regent Street Polytechnic. This began a partnership only halted by Ackland’s death in 1971.

Although much of Acklands and Edwards work was produced in the surrounding coast and countryside of Bideford, they also travelled and worked widely. The result being that their works are included in several major collections across the country including; the Victoria and Albert Museum, Museum of London, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendall and the National Museum of Wales.

In 1945 Ackland devised a new form of model making, and registered it under the name of ‘Jackanda’. Using cotton wool as the base material for her models she produced figures and scenes which have the clarity of carvings and which possess such vitality that in photographs they are often mistaken for real people.

Bideford remained one of the artist’s homes, and they often spent time at Bucks Mill in The Cabin, which they used as a studio and base. Now owned by the National Trust, the Cabin remains a faithful monument to their collaboration and a testament to the landscape, which inspired the production of such a renowned body of work.

In writing this for the gallery website, the Burton Art Gallery and Museum acknowledges the essay by Peter Richey, first produced as part of an exhibition catalogue commemorating the first presentation of the Acklands and Edwards Collection at the gallery. A new publication produced by the Acklands and Edwards Trust to coincide with the purchase of The Cabin by The National Trust will be available from the gallery by the end of 2009.

lottery funded