THE WINCHCOMBE ARCHIVE COLLECTION TRUST
This Charitable Trust (registered number 1186295) was first established in this name in 2014, although formed part of the Long Room Gallery, an art and crafts venue dating from 2005. The Trust itself was formed as a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) in early 2019, when the Trustees applied for charitable status to secure the future of its major collection of artist made slipwares of the area dating from 1927-1939 – one of the largest such groupings in the UK. This status was given in November 2019.
The Trust is now run by five independent trustees with extensive experience in various areas of industry and the arts, complemented by an informal advisory committee which includes a big four accountancy professional still in practice. It currently has a 350 strong mailing list and is in the process of establishing a Friends of the Archive Collection organisation offering a range of benefits and opportunities for lovers of the aesthetic and craft made, in exchange for a modest annual subscription.
Shows held at Queen Anne House by the Trust are comprised of a changing selection from the Trust’s permanent collection of ceramics, furniture, textiles and metalware of the 1920s and 1930s, and a growing number of etchings and engravings and art of the period. It also benefits greatly from the kindness and generosity of private lenders, notably the family of Paul Whitfield, who built up a magnificent collection during a lifetime spent in art and applied arts. The Trust has also had important crafts and artefacts of the period donated of late by the family of Robin Tanner, a 1920s contemporary at Goldsmiths College of Graham Sutherland and Paul Drury.
A key tenet of the Archive Trust is to make readily accessible to the public, ceramics, textiles, art and craft in its collection with opportunities to view and handle the majority. This is in contrast to some Public museum collections, where holdings have lately been held in reserve rather than on active and accessible display. In reflection of this core principle, in normal times the Trust holds an annual series of talks by leading speakers in their fields, complemented by handling sessions of objects displayed in current exhibitions. We are also strong believers in providing loans of items in our trust to assist temporary exhibitions in fellow heritage institutions: forthcoming examples include agreed show loans to Court Barn, Chipping Campden and Ditchling Museum, Sussex.
Winchcombe Archive Collection Trust would warmly welcome the support of private collectors and collections to assist us in our prime aim of making the aesthetic accessible to a wider public, and informally educating both visitors and researchers with physical examples of the beautiful, rather than through an image on the printed page or the computer screen.