Tanner exhibition now open

16th May 2016 / News archive

 A rare painting by Chippenham artist Robin Tanner has been given to our museum and heritage centre is on display in a new exhibition.

The signed Tanner painting was bought through the Creative Wiltshire and Swindon partnership project which aims to fill significant gaps in the collections at the county’s history centre and museums. Visitors will be able to see the piece in the exhibition ‘From Old Chapel Field’. It was presented by Michael Marshman, of Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, to the museum this week.

Robin Tanner (1904 – 1988) was an artist, etcher and printmaker. He turned to teaching to earn a living and had close links with Ivy Lane primary school. When he retired he returned to printmaking and collaborated with his wife Heather publishing a number of books on printmaking aimed at children. One – Wiltshire Village – was reprinted as late as 1978 and was a best seller.

The exhibition focuses on their life together in their village home and uses new information, pictures and documents provided by the Tanner family.

Curator Melissa Barnett said: “We are delighted to accept this rare painting which has been bought on our behalf by the project. It is an unnamed pencil study of a flower and was probably used for a later etching, it’s signed and dated 1950.

“This lovely new exhibition showcases many new items from the Tanners’ arts and crafts home in nearby Kington Langley and examples of Robin’s work. We are very grateful to Robin Tanner’s family who have helped make this exhibition possible here in Chippenham which has such strong links with Robin and Heather.”

The Tanners married in 1931 and made their home at Old Chapel Field, a small arts and crafts house where they were to live for the rest of their lives.

Their home was filled with objects of beauty and interest from early folk art to collections of 20th century craftsmanship. Their surroundings were a lifelong haven and source of inspiration for the perfect world to which they aspired.

The exhibition is open daily Monday to Saturday between 10am and 4pm, entry to the museum and the exhibition is free.