Bringing people together in a common love and appreciation of craft and design



Winchcombe Archive Collection at Long Room Gallery The Winchcombe Archive Collection is essentially a private museum and gallery housed in a traditional timber framed and stone built 400 year old merchants house, dedicated to recreating and celebrating aspects of the arts and crafts lifestyle of the Cotswolds in the inter-war years of the 1920s and 1930s. Having at its core a major foundation collection of early studio slipwares made by the renowned potter Michael Cardew and his Winchcombe team, it also acts as a permanent home and venue for the display, study and discussion of this and related art and design of the same period through regular exhibitions and talks. Taking a primarily domestic approach to both its chosen creative media and its display ethos, the Collection seeks to provide ready public access to such furniture, ceramics, wall hung and applied art of its period, displayed in closed cabinets where necessary but majoring on an open room setting approach. The intention is to illustrate to visitors, how such craft made and well designed objects were used in domestic interiors of their period, and through employing as far as possible a hands on approach, to promote a greater appreciation of both the individual items, and the context for which they were originally created. Structuring of exhibitions and shows: Aside from the continuing and rotating display of primarily slipwares of the Cardew School sourced from four private foundation collections, exhibitions are held every six months in May and November relying additionally on outside loans from other participating private collections of wall hung art and other creative media. Diverse shows are thus periodically curated on a wide range of topics chosen thematically and/or chronologically to illustrate the transferability of common aesthetic themes and styles across a wide range of hand made objects. Exhibitions are further enhanced through Saturday teatime talks given by invited experts in their chosen fields, held to give visitors a greater appreciation of the creative processes behind exhibits and enhanced by selective handling sessions. Selling element: To raise funds for the continuing running costs of the Collection and promote current day makers, selling shows are also held in tandem with these six monthly exhibitions, with contemporary ceramics and some art for sale selected to be directly complimentary to the given theme. Similarly, and subject to availability, period art and ceramics are also offered for purchase. Past and present show themes: Exhibition themes to date have focussed on the output of Winchcombe Pottery in the 1920s and 1930s, and more recently the use of brushwork to embellish and decorate the everyday tablewares of Cardew and his team. May 2016 will see a large retrospective tribute to the long career of Cardew’s successor at Winchcombe, Ray Finch, as summer 2016 marks the 80th anniversary of his arrival at the Pottery. Michael had a deep seated love of music and popular regional culture and folk craft, an area in considerable vogue between the wars for both his friends and in the wider artistic community. This aspect of his creativity will be elucidated by a Folk Art themed show this November, with the exhibition and sale of both period and contemporary objects imbued with a folk or naïve aesthetic. Plans for 2017-2018: Subject to the support of private lenders, the Collection intends to host a run of complimentary exhibitions of neo-romantic art of the inter war years primarily in wood engraved and etched media. The artists selected will range from the Cotswolds based FL Griggs (May 2017) through alumni of Goldsmiths College of the 1920s to the etcher and educationalist Robin Tanner (May 2018). The connections of such art with our foundation collection of ceramics range from the primarily geographic to the directly personal, with all broadly imbued with a love of the English Countryside and its lifestyle - notably the Cotswolds - and of its traditional built environment. External curators: We already benefit from the advice and help of retired professionals from the public museums sector, both in the curation of individual shows and in planning and sourcing our future exhibitions. We are also open to approaches from like minded external curators working in similar media for us to host shows here in the medium term (2018-). Future donations: We would be particularly keen to attract future donations and legacies of Cotswolds School and related display and domestic furnishings to complement existing Collection assets. It is the direct experience of our existing collaborators, that objects entrusted to public museums are all too frequently consigned to reserve collections, only rarely to be displayed and thus enjoyed by the general visiting public. We have the principle of accessibility as a core founding ethos, and hope that this is a principal shared by other private individuals who might chose to contribute loved objects from their collections on temporary loan or as permanent donations or legacies in the future. Charitable trust: The medium term intention is to create a permanent charitable trust to be the recipient and guardian of loved objects from private collections, undertaking their periodic display subject to the context of individual exhibitions, and ensuring their accessibility where possible, subject to necessary issues of care and conservation to ensure their enjoyment by future generations. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Related heritage venues: We maintain cordial relations, particularly with Court Barn Guild of Handicraft Museum, Chipping Campden, the Friends of The Wilson, and with the Gordon Russell Trust, Broadway. All have, to a greater or lesser extent, kindly proactively assisted the establishment of the Collection here through Friends mailings and website promotion. This reflects common cause in celebrating a unique period of early Modern Movement craft creativity in the Cotswolds, with our initiative designed in part to fill a significant gap in the coverage of the pottery side of things which, in its time, stood shoulder to shoulder with then contemporary art and sculpture. JANUARY 2016

Christmas 2018 Newsletter

The Winchcombe Archive Collection is now in the process of becoming a charitable trust. To get more information on this together with our plans for 2019 please click on the following link:



The Primitive Eye exhibition (20th October to 10th November 2018)

The above image shows a small selection from a number of artefacts both antiquarian and from the modern age and ranging from the ‘primitive’ (however defined) to the pastoral that will be on show this autumn at The Winchcombe Archive Collection.  These include the secular and religious products and creativity of country craftsmen of the past as well as early twentieth century responses to pastoral traditons of art and craft in the guise of the revivalist slipwares of Michael Cardew and his inter-war team at Winchcombe Pottery.

The show opens at 9am on Saturday 20th October 2018 and runs for just three weeks. On the opening day we will be offering an afternoon Cream Tea with the Curator to include a handling session of artefacts from our permanent collections.  A formal talk is also planned for one Saturday afternoon later in the show’s run.

The fully illustrated catalogue may be viewed here:

The Primitive Eye 2018 ~ Long Room Gallery of Winchcombe

Robin Tanner & The Old Stile Press (9th June 2018)

In the last talk of the series we were delighted to be joined by Frances and Nicolas McDowell proprietors of The Old Stile Press and late publishing collaborators with the Tanners. Their involvement in the Tanner show was particularly appropriate as Robin had a lifelong interest in the printed page as well as in etching as a medium.

Notably, Frances brought along a collection of rare antique printed material formerly owned by Robin to share with attendees.

William Morris : Design for living (2nd June 2018)

Continuing the arts and crafts talks theme, we were delighted to welcome back Mary Greensted to speak on the influence of nature on Morris designs and his relationship with his homes in London and the Cotswolds.

Robin Tanner Artist Plantsman talk (26th May 2018)

This talk was provided by Stephen Torode, the Kew trained head gardener of local stately home, Sudeley Castle and a lifelong fan of the work of Tanner. Stephen’s presentation focussed on the influence of historic horticultural prints engravings and publications on Robin’s etchings.

Kathy Haslam talk on William Morris (20th May 2018)

Kathy Haslam, lead curator at Kelmscott Manor, William Morris’ country home, was very kind in providing a talk on Morris as part of our Tanner celebratory show. Robin described himself as a Morrisian socialist and the latter’s aesthetics were influential on the Tanner family aesthetic taste and on some of Tanner’s art so Kathy’s involvement was particularly relevant.

Barley Roscoe Talk on Robin & Heather Tanner (Saturday 19th May 2018)

We were delighted to welcome Barley Roscoe, founder curator of the Crafts Study Centre at Bath to give a keynote speech on the 30th anniversary of the death of Robin in May 1988. Barley became a close friend of the Tanners and organised the last show on Robin in London.

Robin and Heather Tanner show opening times

This 30th anniversary show will open to the public on Saturday 19th May 2018 at 9.00am. As we have a keynote speech in the afternoon by Barley Roscoe who was a close friend of Robin and Heather the show will then close temporarily at 12.30 that day, reopening at 4pm.  Those wishing to attend Barley’s talk are directed to the Methodist Church Hall next door: please arrive by 2.45pm for a prompt 3.00pm start.

The following opening hours will then apply:

Sunday 20th to Sunday 27th May 2018 inclusive : open daily 11.00am to 5.00pm

Monday 28th May to Saturday 16th June 2018 : open daily Thursday to Saturday inclusive 11.00am to 5.00pm

The show will be open on other days for pre-booked groups and individuals only by prior appointment (no Sundays)

The show will then close at 5.00pm on Saturday 16th June 2018


Here is the updated list of our talks series for this May / June. Please note that tickets for my talk as part of the Winchcombe Festival of Music & Arts are available direct via their website [ ] .

NB that this Festival talk (cost £5) does not include refreshments.  I will be offering a limited number of places for those wishing to come back to the Long Room Gallery after the talk for a traditional tea and handling session (additional charge £2.50) – for separate tickets please apply to me direct on the day or by telephone (01242 602 319) or email ( in advance.

Blog at

Up ↑