September 28, 2016

This coming Saturday, September 17, sees the 65th anniversary of Bideford’s cherished Victoria Park-located Burton Art Gallery and Museum.

Established in 1951, when Thomas Burton and his businessman friend and artist, Hubert Coop, founded the gallery – which only became a charitable trust in April this year – the venue now has esteemed permanent collections, a museum, two galleries, a separate craft gallery, café and shop.

To celebrate the 65th anniversary, staff at the museum have looked at a collection of over 5000 heritage objects, paintings, sculptures, pieces of jewellery and 17th Century pottery – worth £1.4m – to choose just 65 special objects that represent the gallery’s exhibitions over the years.

Warren Collum, Collections and Exhibitions Officer at the gallery, explained: “Rather than us randomly choosing sixty-five objects, we’ve delved deep into our archives to find evidence of how, when and why certain objects were donated to the gallery.

“This treasure hunt approach makes it more intriguing for us and, of course, for people looking at the exhibits, because the mysteries surrounding every single item will become clear as every display will have newspaper cuttings, handwritten notes and receipts relating to its age, where it originated from and when it was given to us.”

The gallery believes this unique celebratory exhibition represents everything the Burton at Bideford has grown to become – since it became a venue for everyone living and visiting Bideford – and all the gallery plans to be in its exciting new era as a charitable trust.

As part of the celebration, there will be a “Talk and Tour” at 2pm led by Warren on September 17, a daily online “reveal” of all the 65 objects via facebook, and the anniversary collection itself will be on display until October 28.

Entry is free, the exhibition is open 10-4 Mon to Sat and 11-4 on Sundays from Sept 17 – Oct 28.

Some of the objects on display at the exhibition include:

  • Betram Prance 1889 – 1958 illustration for Punch Magazine c1920
  • Intricate silver and ivory-carved Calling Card Cases by Arthur Mctaggart
  • Victorian Baluster shape pewter tankard c1850


Notes to editors

High-res images of all the 65 objects on display – and the Burton Gallery – are available on request.

Warren Collum, Collections and Exhibitions Officer, is available for interviews.