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This exhibition explores the art and culture of 1960s Britain through some of the most significant paintings and drawings from the Swindon Collection. It features work by Richard Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Michael Craig-Martin and Mary Fedden.


The 1960s was an exciting time in British art. Against a backdrop of growing wealth, pop culture and personal freedom, a new generation of postwar artists were attending London’s art schools, surrounded by an unrivalled cultural scene. British art was infused with the challenges and opportunities found in 1960s Britain, including the tension between personal expression and social responsibility.

19 artworks
The Family
© DACS 2020. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

The Family 1961

Charles Blackman (b.1928)

Oil on board

H 122 x W 106 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Pastoral
© Tate. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Pastoral 1965

Cecil Collins (1908–1989)

Oil & tempera on board

H 75 x W 90.5 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Box That Never Closes
© Michael Craig-Martin. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Box That Never Closes 1967

Michael Craig-Martin (b.1941)

Blockboard, polyurethane paint, varnish & brass hardware

H 61 x W 61 x D 61 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

The Thames
© the estate of Mary Fedden / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

The Thames 1962

Mary Fedden (1915–2012)

Oil on canvas

H 49.3 x W 59.5 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Silage Heap near Drumburgh, Cumbria, II
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Silage Heap near Drumburgh, Cumbria, II 1964

Sheila Mary Fell (1931–1979)

Oil on canvas

H 69.5 x W 90.3 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Grey, Red and Black Verticals
© estate of Terry Frost. All rights reserved, DACS 2020. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Grey, Red and Black Verticals 1962

Terry Frost (1915–2003)

Oil on canvas

H 101 x W 126.5 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

November
© estate of Roger Hilton. All rights reserved, DACS 2020. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

November 1955

Roger Hilton (1911–1975)

Oil on canvas

H 112 x W 86.5 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Gramophone
© Estate of Howard Hodgkin. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Gramophone 1964–1966

Howard Hodgkin (1932–2017)

Oil on canvas

H 71.5 x W 91.5 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Painting
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Painting 1961

Charles Houghton Howard (1899–1978)

Oil on canvas

H 59.4 x W 85 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Action Painting
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Action Painting 1958

George Melhuish (1916–1985)

Oil on paper board

H 56 x W 70.5 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Vortex
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Vortex 1968

George Melhuish (1916–1985)

Oil on paper

H 61 x W 85 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

The Mysterious Gift
© Desmond Morris. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

The Mysterious Gift 1965

Desmond Morris (b.1928)

Oil on canvas

H 99 x W 70.7 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Play: Here We Exemplify (Fugato) the Additive Perseverative and Subtractive Modes, Thesis as Object and Artwork as Residue of Process
© Tom Phillips. All rights reserved, DACS 2020. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Play: Here We Exemplify (Fugato) the Additive Perseverative and Subtractive Modes, Thesis as Object and Artwork as Residue of Process 1968

Tom Phillips (b.1937)

Acrylic on canvas

H 45.7 x W 152 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Night Sky
© the artist's estate/courtesy Flowers Gallery, London. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Night Sky 1957

Jack Smith (1928–2011)

Oil on board

H 58.5 x W 58.5 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Once
© the artist's estate/courtesy Flowers Gallery, London and New York. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Once 1962

Richard Smith (1931–2016)

Oil on canvas

H 213.5 x W 121.5 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Elektra
© estate of George Warner Allen. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Elektra 1969

George Warner Allen (1916–1988)

Oil & tempera on canvas

H 90 x W 100 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Landscape
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Landscape 1956

Denis Wirth-Miller (1915–2010)

Oil on canvas

H 75.5 x W 90.5 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Winged Idol
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Winged Idol 1963

Roger Leigh (1925–1997)

Bronze & yew

H 46.5 x W 47.7 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

The Sibyl
© Tate. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

The Sibyl 1964

Cecil Collins (1908–1989)

Oil & acrylic on board

H 75 x W 90 cm

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery