Last month we were very sorry to be saying goodbye to Gary, our Head of Landscape and Gardens. Gary worked here managing, nurturing and developing our historic landscape for nearly 10 years! We wish him all the best in his new role, but he will be greatly missed. Before his final day we asked Gary a few questions about his time at Compton Verney. What time of the year do you clear out dipping pond near bridge where the plaques are placed? We don’t actually clear out the space around the dipping pond platform, as many of the insects of interest live amongst the leaf litter that accumulates beneath the water. However, there is a degree of silting away from the platform that will need to be addressed over the coming seasons, and as such we are presently engaged in planning a project that will address this essential work. Who has been his favourite colleague in his time at Compton Verney? In all honesty there hasn’t been a favourite. It might sound like a cliché but it has been the team of players who ultimately have made things work for me. I can liken it to being part of a […]
The installation of a new, outdoor sculpture by Israeli artist, Ariel Schlesinger, which was due to open to the public on Saturday 12 October at Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park, has been delayed due to the discovery of archaeological remains. Three medieval burials were unearthed as the foundations were being dug to support the sculpture, and progress had to be halted to allow for archaeologists to excavate the site. A representative from Archaeology Warwickshire was undertaking a watching brief of the dig when the discovery was made. They say; “In accordance with the planning permission, Compton Verney asked Archaeology Warwickshire to carry out a watching brief while the works were taking place. Just at the depth needed for the foundations, the remains were exposed. Medieval pottery was found with the burials. The coroner was notified and he agreed that their location should be carefully recorded before being protected and re-covered. Best practice guidance from Historic England states that burials should not be disturbed without good reason.” Compton Verney has a long history which dates as far back as the Domesday Book in 1086, or possibly even earlier. It originally comprised of two manor houses, before it became a small […]
Over the last fifteen years, Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park has forged a reputation for innovative exhibitions that attract crowds to the award-winning venue in Warwickshire. That is set to continue in 2020 with a diverse programme showcasing the artistic genius and influence of Lucas Cranach the Elder, the role of fabric as an exploration of sensuality and identity, and artists’ complex relationships with colour. Cranach: Artist and Innovator 14 March – 14 June 2020 Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) was one of the leading German painters and printmakers of the early sixteenth century. Born in the Bavarian town of Kronach, from which he took his name, he became court painter to the Electors of Saxony. A close friend of Martin Luther, Cranach was a key artist of the Protestant Reformation, producing woodcut illustrations for Luther’s texts, and founding a successful publishing business. Cranach’s innovations included new types of religious images, portraits, and the development of distinctive, stylised female nudes, such as Compton Verney’s own Venus and Cupid (c.1525). Inspired by this and other works in our collection; Portrait of Sigmund Kingsfelt (c.1530), Lot and His Daughters (c.1530) and the dramatic Hercules and Antaeus (c.1530), the exhibition – […]
Can you believe the summer holidays are here already? Come along to Compton Verney for six weeks of activities for intrepid explorers! Compton Verney’s Summer Adventure There’s so much to do at Compton Verney, from exploring the galleries to racing down Wellingtonia Avenue, you couldn’t possible cram it all into one visit. Did you know that for just £33 you can entertain your family for a whole summer and beyond? Our Family Annual Pass admits two adults and up to four children to our park and permanent collections for 12 months. Purchase yours from our Welcome Centre and use our new activity guide to get going on your Summer Adventure and make sure you don’t miss a thing! The Tea Sensorium Sat 6 Jul – Sun 22 Sep, 11am – 5pm Drop in any day this summer and take part in a range of creative, multisensory activities inspired by our summer exhibition. Test your sense of smell; do you know your Oolong from your Jasmine? How about designing your own tea ware or adding a clay creation to our giant collaborative artwork. Little Makers Tuesdays, 23 Jul – 27 Aug, 11am – 4pm Drop in and see the […]
The British know how to queue, as evidenced during a long day of filming for the BBC Antiques Roadshow at Compton Verney on Tuesday 2 July. 5300 people came to have their treasures assessed and their family stories heard. They arrived with carrier bags and boxes, newspaper wrapped packages and carrying improbably large paintings, furniture, teddy bears, and even a stag’s head slung over a young man’s shoulder. The show, hosted by Fiona Bruce, has been broadcasting for over 40 years and has a weekly audience of over 6 million people. Over the years lost masterpieces have been uncovered and car-boot finds have been valued at hundreds and even thousands of pounds. But above all, it is the stories connected with the items pulled from boxes and bags that really make their mark. One visitor brought along a Victoria Cross while another brought a homemade Cup Final rosette, along with a photo of his parents on a coach of West Bromwich Albion fans heading down to London in 1950s. In monetary terms one was priceless, the other worthless, but in reality both were of significant sentimental value to their owners. Fiona Bruce took time to chat to people in the […]
Compton Verney – the award-winning art gallery and park in Warwickshire – has announced Penny Egan CBE as its new Chair of Trustees. She will replace the current Chair Kirsten Suenson-Taylor, who is stepping down after an outstanding 8-year tenure on the board of the charitable trust at the end of the year. Compton Verney is unique. It was established in 1993 with the aim of providing an inspiring and entertaining cultural offer for as many visitors as possible from all ages and backgrounds – whether they have come to see highly-acclaimed art exhibitions, to take part in wide-ranging fun, creative and educational activities, or to enjoy the diverse features of an extensive historic landscape. Kirsten says “It has been a privilege to chair the board of governors during a great period of change and growth at Compton Verney. We have built on the foundations laid by the astonishing generosity of our founder and patron Sir Peter Moores to build a dynamic and vibrant organisation. I am proud to have led the appointment of new generations of skilled and committed governors -working towards a diverse board that reflects our local community. I was also pleased to lead our search for […]
Julie Finch has been appointed the new Director of Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park. Ms Finch will take up her new position on 29th April 2019. She replaces former Director, Professor Steven Parissien, who stepped down from the role last month (November 2018) to become Director of the Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto. Ms Finch, is currently Chief Executive Officer at the Cheltenham Trust, where she has been since October 2014. Previously, Julie was the Project Director for the new Museum of Western Australia in Perth and prior to that, was Director of Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives Services for seven years, developing Bristol’s new museum, M Shed, from concept through to delivery whilst in the post and securing Major Partner Museum funding. In addition, Julie has sat on the boards of both the Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund. Born in Lincolnshire, she studied for an MBA with the Open University, an MA Museums Studies at the University of Leicester and a BA Hons (First Class) in Heritage Studies at the University of Hull. Presently, Julie is responsible for six of Cheltenham’s significant assets, the Wilson Museum and Art Gallery with a designated collection […]
Looking to keep busy over the summer holidays? Whether there is rain or sunshine, there will be fun and interesting activities to keep all the family entertained over this summer. Visit our summer exhibitions Sat 30 June – Sun 30 September Enter the joyful and colourful Marvellous Mechanical Museum and Rodney Peppè’s World of Invention at Compton Verney this summer. Explore delightful moving mechanical toys, automata and spectacular mechanical art. Don’t forget to grab a Marvellous Mechanical Museum Family Trail guide to engage and excited the whole family. Artspace Tue 24 July – Fri 31 August, 11am – 4pm Compton Verney’s ever-popular Artspace returns on Tue 24 July. Artist Fire the Inventor from The Marvellous Mechanical Museum has begun a mechanical installation. Help by adding your own weird and wonderful creations. Learn the basics of mechanical movement and exercise your creative and engineering skills. Perfect for the whole family! This activity is included in a day ticket admission and is FREE for Members and Annual Pass Holders. Forest School Family Thursdays Every Thu, 26 Jul – 30 Aug, 11am – 3pm Come along dressed for the weather and make nature inspired crafts, silly soup in the mud […]
IN-LIGHT II Sat 28 October – Sun 29 October, 6.30pm – 8.30pm Experience an enchanting and contemportary ‘son et lumière’ by light artist Luxmuarlis in Compton Verney’s stunning grounds. This year’s light and sound display draws on poetry and nature in a series of beautiful light projections. This will be a popular event and advanced booking is strongly recommended. Autumn Exhibitions Thu 26 October, 11am – 4pm Visit our two brand new exhibitions: The Lost Words and Quentin Blake: Inside Stories. FREE entry for Members. The Spell Walks Sat 21 October – Sun 17 December, 11am – 5pm Take inspiration from the exhibition and venture out in Compton Verney’s grounds to make your phone go wild with our Lost Words inspired Spell Walks. Experience Jackie and Roberts’ images and words as they appear in nature via two specially commissioned digital trails that can be downloaded straight to your smart phone. Trails are FREE for Members and visitors with a valid Exhibition Day Ticket. The Big Draw Tue 24 – Fri 27 October, 11am – 4pm Drop in to the studio with your family this October Half Term for your chance to create your own images and […]
The Clearing is a collaborative artwork by artists Alex Hartley and Tom James. Together they are building a geodesic dome by the lake, an ‘eye-catcher’ for the 21st Century, where visitors can explore at first hand a future afflicted by climate change. Help us to bring this vision to life at Compton Verney Park
Compton Verney has been awarded £36,000 from the DCMS / Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund.
The Clearing is a vision of the future, coming to the grounds of Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park from March to December 2017. British artists Alex Hartley and Tom James are creating a living, breathing encampment in the shadow of a stately home on the shores of an idyllic lake, where people can come together to explore at first hand a future afflicted by climate change. And they need your help. In the middle of The Clearing they’re building a geodesic dome from scrap materials (metal and old doors) inspired by the utopian communities of 1960s America. And now they are looking for volunteer caretakers to come and occupy it for a series of short periods throughout the year, to help bring the vision to life. In the dome, you’ll have access to a stove, a bed, a means to cook and heat water, a toilet, a solar-powered lamp, and a library of hippy-survival guides from throughout the ages. You’ll be expected to help with the upkeep of The Clearing (chopping wood, feeding the chickens, fixing the fence if it falls down etc etc), introduce visitors to the project and write a short report afterwards of what happened. Anyone […]
Click here to read our latest Inside Compton Verney Magazine Winter 2016-17
Christmas is coming! Santa’s little helpers (The CV team) have been busy getting Compton Verney ready for the festive season. We decided to take a break from decorating and freeze for the Mannequin Challenge.
On Friday 4 & 11 November, as part of our autumn interactive event IN-LIGHT, visitors created Light Drawings at our photography stations. The colours and patterns in these images look spectacular. Here’s all the images, we hope visitors will be able to find their creations.
This summer’s Britain in the Fifties: Design and Aspiration exhibition touches on the memories of those who lived through it and those who admire its aesthetic. As much as our exhibition has items loaned from other collections, Compton Verney has the local community to thank too. Without them, the 1950s takeover would not be complete. This week’s #ThrowbackThursday is not about the objects lent to the exhibition itself, but about the refurbishment of our Gallery Café. The Fifties saw to a growing population of coffee guzzlers. It was never rationed during war time as the nation preferred to sip on tea. But with the increasing amount of coffee bars which popped up in London’s Soho, these places were where the youngsters of the day preferred to be. They offered the alternative to the old fashioned tea-rooms and the smoky pubs. It was not long until these coffee bars were spread across the country. In America, these places were at the heart of the Beatnik Movement – mirroring the centrality of the salon during the French Revolution. Aside from the food and drink at the centre of our Coffee Bar 57, what ties it all together […]
As part of our ‘Love Parks’ Weekend, you can finally join Rod our Volunteer Beekeeper and learn about the world of bees. You and your family can don the suits and masks, see the worker bees, the guard bees, and maybe the Queen! Still unsure? Read our interview with Rod. How long have the hives been in Compton Verney? We started with two hives in 2013 and increased to four over an eighteen month period. We purchased the first hive which was populated with a nucleus (five frames with a queen and workers). The second hive was populated with a swarm that I had caught. How much honey can you get from the hives? There is a huge variation hive to hive, even between hives in the same apiary and the foraging area. There can be in excess of 100lbs off a single hive over the season, but typically around 60lbs. We sell the honey made from the hives at the Compton Verney shop, and there’s only 1lb in a jar! Are the species in Compton Verney different to elsewhere? There are specific strains of honey bee but it is virtually impossible to maintain a 100% strain. A virgin queen […]
On Saturday 2 & Sunday 3 July, The Compton Verney Summer Festival is back and better than ever! Join us for three days of brilliant beats, fantastic food and lots of family fun.
Hello everyone, I thought this recent addition to our British Folk Art collection might be of interest to some of the spoon lovers amongst you. We acquired this piece in late 2015 and installed it during our Winter closed period, ready for Compton Verney’s Spring opening.
We caught up with Dr. Sarah Rutherford, author of The World of Capability Brown, as she prepares to give a fascinating talk on ‘Discovering Brown’ on 19 May at Compton Verney.
Compton Verney has been successful in the selection process along with four other venues across Britain to win artist Aowen Jin in Museums at Night Connect! 2016 Competition.
Antonia is one of our experienced exhibition curators and has been responsible for some of the most successful exhibitions in recent years, for example the Arts & Crafts House: Then and Now exhibition from 2015. She was lead curator on the Shakespeare in Art project which means that, working with other members of the team, she researched the works of art, shaped the exhibition, decided on the hang (what artworks went where), wrote the interpretation, liaised with the RSC and worked with our internal teams (front of house, learning and marketing) to develop their plans for the show. 1. Tell us why you’re doing this exhibition now? 2016 is the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare (coincidentally, Shakespeare died on the same day that he was born, the 23rd April) and we felt that this was a good moment to produce a brand new art exhibition related to his work, and to join in the national celebrations of his achievements. 2. How did the collaboration with the RSC come about? The collaboration came about around three years ago when our Director, Dr Steven Parissien met with Gregory Doran, now the Artistic Director of the RSC, to talk about the […]
Click to read: Inside Compton Verney Winter 2015 – Spring 2016
Families were invited to design and make creations to go in Compton Verney’s Park. This may have been something they had seen in the park or something they would like to see in the park in the future. Many children and adults used their imagination working together to make their own models to place in the park. Using modelling clay and a few simple materials the Compton Verney Art gallery and Park began to fill up quickly. Many different creations were displayed. We had a selection of people, animals, birds, mini beasts, sea creatures, flowers and dinosaurs. They all enjoyed hanging out in Compton Verney Park. Check out our Family Activities page to get involved with future events, or better yet sign up to our Family E-news and find out what’s going on straight to your inbox.
We regret to announce that Sir Peter Moores, one of the country’s most liberal arts benefactors, has died at the age of 83. Sir Peter used The Peter Moores Foundation to rescue what remained of the estate at Compton Verney in 1993. In the ensuing years, Sir Peter and his Foundation created a world-class art gallery in the Georgian mansion and a new, purpose-built wing – an act which constitutes one of the most outstanding acts of cultural patronage in post-war Britain. In addition, Sir Peter himself generously donated four of the permanent collections now housed in the gallery, which opened to the public in 2004 and is now an independent charitable trust. In the gallery’s earliest years, the Foundation supported the business through a generous annual subsidy. When this ended in 2010, an endowment fund was set up to help with Compton Verney’s long-term running costs, and the Foundation continued to support elements of the exhibition programme until it closed in 2014. We remain immensely grateful to Sir Peter for his original support, generosity and vision. Without his intervention and imagination, Compton Verney would today be a romantic ruin, and the inspiring art gallery and park that has been […]
As we get ready to open the doors for our 2016 season we reflect on 2015, our busiest season ever, and look forward to welcoming new and existing visitors back. Lots of new visitors in 2015 said that they couldn’t believe all that was on offer at Compton Verney. Those with a passion for art raved about our collections, exhibitions and the art installations in the park. Families told us we’re great value for money with a fantastic range of activities to keep children amused. The outdoor and indoor space makes it a great place for families to visit whatever the weather. Those with an interest in history and wildlife found the park a fascinating place. You told us about the kingfishers you spotted last year and the grebe family kept you and old amused with their antics on the lake. Whilst Capability Brown’s viewpoints provided you with some great photos which you shared with us on social media. With these comments in mind, we’ve created a new short video which shows all the activities you said you’d enjoyed in the hope that you will share it with friends and family who haven’t already visited Compton Verney and show them […]