The Trust holds a wide range of exhibitions relating to the history of Cirencester. These are drawn from its extensive art and archive collections. Sometimes these include special loans from other collections.
The 2022 exhibition is Cirencester A Century Ago – People and Places from the 1921 Census. The exhibition is open Saturdays from 11am to 3pm from the 30th July to the 1st October. On 1st October from 11am to 3pm we will also host the Big Draw with drawing activities for all ages. Admission is free.
Past exhibitions have included Exploring Art @ the Bingham Gallery, Treasures from the Collections, Pubs, past and present, Transport in Cirencester, Cirencester People, portraits over 200 years (focussing on the extraordinary Cox collection of photographs of local people dating from the 1860s), and Drawing on Cirencester, historic drawings of Cirencester over 200 years.
Cirencester A Century Ago – People and Places from the 1921 Census
Join us as we meet residents of Cirencester from the 1921 census. Learn about the history of the places they lived and enjoy some art and photography depicting those places and how they have changed over time.
The exhibition is open Saturdays from 11am to 3pm from the 30th July to the 1st October. On the 1st October we will also be hosting the Big Draw with drawing activities for all ages. Admission is free.
Exploring Art @ the Bingham Gallery
Join us as we explore the medium of art through our collection. Art is not defined nor confined, and is created in many ways through watercolour, oils, pastels, graphite, charcoal, pencil, mixed media, embroideries and photographs.
This exhibition will look at the story of art and the range of mediums and styles in which artists and creators express themselves. The exhibition will highlight why art matters and showcase some of the Bingham Library Trust’s wonderful collection.
The exhibition is open Saturdays from 10am to 3pm from the 31st July to the 25th September and Saturday 9th October from 10am to 3pm for the Big Draw with drawing activities for all ages. Admission is free.
Thanks to the kindness and skills of the Camera Club and Civic Society (check them out below) the exhibition is also available online at Exploring Art @ the Bingham Gallery – YouTube
Cirencester Camera Club
Whether you’re a novice looking to learn the basics, a hobbyist looking to sharpen your skills or a more experienced photographer willing to share your knowledge with others – you’ll find a warm welcome at our club.
We are a friendly and active club with an annual programme which includes practical sessions, illustrated talks given by highly regarded speakers, competitions with critique by external judges and ‘battles’ against other local clubs.
Our members have a wide range of photographic interests and experience, so there is always someone on hand to help with advice on technique, equipment or processing. Whatever your age, skill level, or particular interest in photography, the club has something for you. Visitors are always welcome if you’d like to get a feel for what we do.
Our 2021/22 season starts on 6th September and the programme features a mix of physical meetings (at the Parish Hall, Watermoor, Cirencester GL7 1NE) and online Zoom meetings.
Cirencester Civic Society
2020 Online Exhibition
The Covid19 pandemic prevented our opening our doors. However, we were able to present an interim online exhibition;
Treasures from the Collections
Paintings, drawings, photographs, ephemera and original documents.
Celebrating and sharing the richness of the Bingham Library Trust Collections
The online exhibition can be viewed as a PowerPoint presentation;Treasures-from-the-Collections-exhibition-September-2020
or as a PDF document;Treasures-from-the-Collections-exhibition-September-2020
200 years of Cirencester at Leisure
Cricket to clubs, Theatre to pubs
And celebrating the centenary of the Cirencester Band
The 2019 exhibition looked at Cirencester at leisure, focusing on the themes of entertainment, sport, hobbies and public events.
Highlights of the exhibition included a glimpse of some of the pubs and inns, including a rare engraving based on a print by the 18th century artist, Hogarth, of the Ram Inn. There were some fascinating records of theatre and dance in the town from a Pierrot group to the Cirencester & District Folk Dance Society. Photographs show the impressive panorama of the Market Square as seen for public events from the Mop fair to Royal occasions, and exactly 100 years ago, Peace celebrations for the end of World War I. Football, cricket, golf and swimming were all represented and perhaps most remarkable, roller skating in the Corn Hall in the Edwardian period.
The 2018 exhibition looked at the work of Cirencester artists, focussing especially on those who lived and worked in the town. These include John Beecham, probably one of the most important of the town’s artists working in the 19th century, known for his historical paintings showing scenes from the history of the town. The exhibition included some of the earliest views of Cirencester from 200 years ago, painted by John Burden, a drawing master in the town, and John Evans. It also introduced new acquisitions, including a work by 20thcentury painter Anthony Klitz, known for his often red-clothed figures painted against a misty atmospheric backdrop, and by well-known local artist Tracey Elphick.
Drawing On Cirencester
The exhibition was entitled ‘Drawing on Cirencester’ – historic scenes of Cirencester over 250 years and explore how Cirencester has been depicted using the most direct and simplest of artist techniques, drawing.
The earliest drawing dated from nearly 230 years ago and is by Joseph Farringdon who was a topographical artist known for his series of British views and monuments who visited the town in 1790 and drew the Parish Church. The Gallery was especially thrilled to borrow from Corinium Museum a series of bold expressive drawings created in 1814 by the well-known artist Jean Claude Nattes, best-known for his various views of Great Britain.
These included views of the Norman Arch, the Swan Inn and the Bathurst estate. In an age before the camera or mobile phone, drawing was the simplest way to capture the local scene and these drawings provide an important record of the town. Drawings often captured a freedom of expression which a more expensive record – an oil painting often did not have.
The exhibition was brought up to date by a pencil and crayon drawing of Cirencester Church made in 1947 by Richard Adler a German prisoner of war at Sidington Hall. There were also some drawings from 2012 by Cirencester artist Laurie Plant of more unusual scenes as they show his intriguing take on modern buildings in the town, the Bingham Library and St James Place.
Formally opened in September 2005, on the centenary of the opening of the building as the Bingham Library, the ground-floor Bingham Gallery is a multi-functional space supported by a strong exhibition theme. Examples from the Trust’s permanent collection, particularly John Beecham’s large oil paintings of Cirencester, are on display and provide an intriguing backdrop to the other activities in the Gallery space. Each summer, an exhibition on a specific theme is mounted and since 2005 these have included:
2005 Opening exhibition for the new Bingham Gallery
2006 The Artist’s Eye
2007 Cirencester Market Place
2008 Lost Cirencester
2009 Cirencester Parish Church
2010 Just the ticket : travel and transport in Cirencester
2011 Pubs Past and Present
2012 Royal Connections
2013 Cirencester 2013