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“Tiny but terrific”

Stanley Spencer Gallery
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Cookham
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Stanley Spencer Gallery is a very special place for all generations of the family to enjoy. Devoted to the work of one of Britain's greatest twentieth century painters, Sir Stanley Spencer, the Gallery was named by ArtFund last year (2014) as being one the UK's five most 'unmissable' small Art Galleries. It has also been awarded a coveted Michelin Green Star, and has recently (2015) gained a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. Spencer was born in 1891 in the family home in Cookham High Street. Whatever the current exhibition (there are two per year), the visitor can be assured of discovering poignant images of Cookham and people in Spencer's life from before the beginning of the First World War until ten years after the end of the Second World War. Many of Spencer's works depict joyous and vivid fusions of the ordinary with the extraordinary and the earthly with the spiritual. Those of his paintings that are set in his beloved Cookham speak to us of the village, the river and the surrounding hills, commons and meadowland from a less materialistic age than ours, yet with a timeless quality, often touched by the trauma of his wartime experiences. The Gallery provides the largest collection of Sir Stanley Spencer's works on display anywhere in the world. Others of his paintings are in Tate Britain and major regional institutions, as well as with private collectors. The current exhibition, The Creative Genius of Stanley Spencer, includes wonderful works on loan from both Aberdeen and Leeds Art City Galleries, adding to a number of hauntingly memorable works selected from the Gallery's own major collection. The exhibition explores the extraordinary diversity of Spencer's output and the breadth of his creative genius, with particular emphasis on passionate spiritual works, intricate representations of the natural world and deeply moving emotional scenes reflecting the artists personal joys and anguish. This is an exhibition to enthral everyone, from Spencer cognoscenti to those, unaware of the extraordinary world of the artist, entering the Stanley Spencer Gallery for the very first time.
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
81 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Tiny but terrific”
Reviewed 30 April 2014

This delightful little gallery in Spencer's home town is well worth a look, two floors of his best pictures in this current exhibition on till November. Some of his best works surround a huge unfinished Jesus preaching at Cookham piece - take time to really absorb the detail.

Visited April 2014
Thank Joanna M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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113 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Memory Lane”
Reviewed 25 April 2014

Very Good - friendly and intimate although limited number of paintings. Walked over to the churchyard on the advice of the staff which was very interesting as this is where a lot of his paintings were based.

Visited April 2014
Thank LInda G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
292 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 238 helpful votes
“£10 was a little pricey”
Reviewed 22 April 2014

Nice little exhibition; loved the huge unfinished picture as that gave you real insight into how he created his artwork. But £10 for two people feels a little steep especially when you can be over and done in 20 minutes.

Visited April 2014
Thank TerriLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orpington, Kent
Level Contributor
66 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Small but perfectly formed”
Reviewed 26 November 2013

The gallery consists of two small rooms but the paintings are displayed well and the staff are friendly and knowledgeable. Well worth a visit.

Visited November 2013
Thank Annebailes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Had always wanted to visit. Was a bit disappointed”
Reviewed 25 November 2013

It was OK, but there was no effort to make the visit more interesting. I did not see any evidence of explanations for children. Otherwise it was clean and tidy, but rather clinical.

Visited June 2013
Thank Christine Ann M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michael201280, Custodian at Stanley Spencer Gallery, responded to this review, 28 November 2013
We're sorry to read the trip wasn’t as interesting as you had expected as we do like to have visits from families with children and do not charge for under 16s.

To add interest and inform our visitors, we do have a video introduction to Stanley Spencer which has always been popular and more recently we’ve introduced an iPad multi-media presentation on Christ Preaching at Cookham Regatta and Audio Comments which are short audio presentations on some of the works on show.

While for children we have a free guide to the exhibition designed for children to explore the works on show and at £2.50 we have an activity book for children about Spencer and his works.

Perhaps we should make an extra effort to bring these things to the attention of our visitors.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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