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Inclusive 'World of Wonders!" Gallery to mark new approach for The Wilson


Inclusive 'World of Wonders!" Gallery to mark new approach for The Wilson

The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum is proud to announce the opening of a gallery for young people and their fellow adventures in May 2018. This new gallery is an inclusive, audience-led space that uses the collection as a starting point for new ideas and responses.

The World of Wonders! (WOW!) Gallery will see a long-closed museum space re-opened and objects from museum stores re-displayed - some for the first time in 30 years. Working with designers HKD and The Moule Partnership, The Wilson has worked to reinterpet both the collection and space, making it fully inclusive and accessible, right down to using using a dyslexia friendly font.

This approach forms part of The Wilson’s wider ambition to work directly with audiences and produce collections-led displays and exhibitions. The opening of the gallery comes at the end of an 18-month Arts Council England Museum Resilience project, which saw The Wilson test brand new creative approaches.

The museum aims to become a destination venue for all the family, and this new family gallery marks an important step towards realising this ambition. The Wilson is managed by The Cheltenham Trust, alongside Pittville Pump Rooms, Cheltenham Town Hall, Leisure At and the Prince of Wales Stadium, and the WOW! Gallery is an important part of the organisation’s aim to provide something for everyone in Cheltenham on any day of the week.

Julie Finch, CEO of The Cheltenham Trust said:
“We’re incredibly proud to be opening this inclusive, accessible and audience-led gallery, which places us at the forefront of museum learning experiences. WOW! uses our collection as a foundation for inspiration, particularly for under 5’s, but all are welcome. We have been focusing on making The Wilson accessible, inspirational, and open to everyone. The opening of the WOW! Gallery and the completion of the ACE Museum resilience project marks a real step-change for the Wilson, and work has already begun on our next exciting phase of development.”

The WOW! gallery has been made possible with generous funding of the DCMS/WOLFSON Museums & Galleries Improvement Fund 2016-18 and The Friends of The Wilson.

The gallery encourages visitors to touch, play, sing and dance.Visitors will meet a penguin in a tunnel, find a bone-shaker in the sky, and watch rabbits mid-leap.

Visitors are invited to a special launch event on Thursday 10 May 2018, 10am – 12 noon, with the gallery opening fully from Friday 11 May 2018. Entry to the WOW! gallery will be free with donations encouraged.

There is a buggy park in the gallery with food and drink welcome. There is also an on-site café, lifts to all floors and changing facilities.


Explore Gloucestershire
26 April 2018


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