Search
Cancel
Accessibility

Collection highlights

Sharing Swindon's collection

Museum & Art Swindon looks after thousands of objects, specimens, artworks and ephemera, collected from the early 1900s up until today.

Image credit: Fenella Elms, ‘Mobius Knot’. All rights reserved.

Background lines
Roman pottery at Museum & Art Swindon
Highworth pot at Museum & Art Swindon

Archaeology

2000 years of history unearthed

Swindon has a history that dates back centuries before the railway.  From early prehistoric hillforts to a buried Roman town, Museum & Art Swindon cares for a range of archaeological material. The star item is a large roman storage jar found in Highworth, but it also includes Roman shoes, ear spoons, Saxon combs and swords.  Our collection continues to grow as we receive material excavated as part of new developments and through the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Image: Highworth Pot

Hodgkin gramophone at Museum & Art Swindon

Art

Modern & contemporary British art and local artworks

A nationally significant modern and contemporary British art collection includes paintings, works on paper and sculpture, from the 1890s until today.  Began in the 1940s with a focus on contemporary collecting, the collection contains hundreds of artworks by prominent modern artists including Lucien Freud, Howard Hodgkin, Gwen John and L.S. Lowry.  The museum also holds a large number of local artworks, documenting the transformation of Swindon since the 19th century.

Image credit: Howard Hodgkin, ‘Gramophone’, 1964-66, ©The Estate of Howard Hodgkin. All rights reserved, DACS 2023

Ammonite at Museum & Art Swindon

Natural Sciences

Fossils, rocks, minerals, botany and the animal world around us.

The geology collection is one of the oldest collections at Museum & Art Swindon. Not only in terms of the age of the specimens but also how long they have been part of the Museum. The founder of the original Swindon Museum, Charles Gore, was a keen amateur geologist. His collection of rocks and fossils filled the display cases when the institution first opened in 1920. The collection contains thousands of local and national specimens, and some from other countries.

Image: Ammonite Galbanites Okusensis

Albert Beaney photo at Museum & Art Swindon

Photography

Picturing Swindon’s people and places

The collections of Museum & Art Swindon includes thousands of photographs relating to people and places in Swindon and beyond.  Covering the Victorian era up until the 1980s, the collection contains photographic prints, postcards, calling and cabinet cards, glass plate negatives and magic lantern slides.  Significant works by local photographers include the Albert Beaney Collection (1950s- 1960s), the Woodfield Collection (1915-1939) and the Swindon Camera Club Collection (1960s-1980s).

Image Credit: Albert Beaney 'Ferndale Road'. All rights reserved.

Polly Pocket

Social & Industrial History

Everyday life in Swindon

The large social & industrial history collection features objects and documents with strong connections to the people, organisations, industries, culture and pastimes of Swindon.  The collection started when Swindon Museum first opened in 1920, and includes items from the Victorian era up until today.  Today, acquisitions into Museum & Art Swindon focus on local people and their stories, presenting broad perspectives on historical and contemporary life in the town.

Image: Polly Pocket - Bluebird Toys.

Museum & Art Swindon - Collection highlights

Studio Ceramics

Modern and contemporary British studio ceramics

This collection charts the development of studio ceramics in Britain, with emphasis on practice from the post-war period, until today.  Having started in the 1960s as an educational resource, the growing collection now contains over 200 works.  The collection includes ceramics by nationally significant artists such as Dame Lucie Rie and Sir Grayson Perry, alongside work from notable local and regional ceramicists and potteries.

Image Credit: Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, - 'Nightfall'. All rights reserved.

More on our collections

Background lines

Plan your visit today

Find out everything you need to know about visiting Museum & Art Swindon.

Enquire today

Our team are on hand to help, so please send us your enquiry using our online form.

Alternatively, feel free to call us on:

01793 466556

Send us your enquiry

Send us the details of your enquiry and a member of our team will be in touch.

This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required

Please tick the box below if you would like to sign up to Museum and Art Swindon's e-newsletter and receive our latest news and events. For further information on how your personal data is used and managed, please see our Privacy Policy.

Send enquiry

Sign up to our newsletter

Which newsletter would you like to sign up to?
Visitor Learning

Please enter your email address if you would like to sign up to Museum & Art Swindon’s e-newsletter and receive our latest news and events. For further information on how your personal data is used and managed, please see our Privacy Policy.

Please enter your email address if you would like to sign up to Museum & Art Swindon's learning e-newsletter and be the first to know about our Learning Programme. Receive resources, information on School and Teacher Programmes, invites to exhibition previews, events, workshops and more! For further information on how your personal data is used and managed, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sign up to newsletter