At the Museum of Wimbledon we have a large and varied Art Collection. Our works range from the 18th century to the present day and are a mix of prints, watercolours, oil paintings, sketches and drawings, and a couple of 3D items, an Arts & Crafts brooch and a terracotta facemask.
The artists are also from mixed backgrounds, from a Victorian era school child to professional artists, those that exhibited at the Royal Academy, amateur local artists, Suffragists, a First World War Belgian refugee and a disabled artist, Charles Fowler (1909 – 1997) who painted with his mouth.
Together these artists and artworks allow us a glimpse into both a Wimbledon that has passed and the Wimbledon of the present day. We come across lost mansions and their immaculate gardens, the wildness of Wimbledon Common, country lanes and rural scenes, and streets and buildings that are familiar to us today. We can chart the changes over the centuries to well known landmarks such as St Mary’s Church and see what has become of some of the grand houses that once dotted this rural landscape.
The Art Collection allows us to get to know some of the people for whom Wimbledon was home, from Thomas Cromwell, the right-hand man of King Henry VIII, to William Wilberforce the anti-slave trade campaigner and the author Raymond Briggs.
The Art Collection at our Museum is an enjoyable way to delve into the past of Wimbledon and to try and imagine what was once there as we walk through the Wimbledon of today.