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20th Century

Portrait of Betty Payne and Bill Hopper, 1979

28th May 2020 / Collections, Museum

This painting features Betty Payne and Bill Hopper founders of the Chippenham Starlettes. The group was formed in 1953 as a dancing school for children. Within a year there were thirty members, and their first production “Dick Whittington” was seen at the Neeld Hall, Chippenham at Christmas 1954. Over the years membership grew and the …

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Plaster Panel, Gaumont Cinema, 1936

27th May 2020 / Collections, Museum

These plaster panels are a rare survivor of the once glamourous Art Deco Cinema that stood on the corner of Timber Street and Gladstone Road, Chippenham. Its construction began in March 1936, and 8 months later the Gaumont Cinema opened to the public on 14th November. The building’s exterior was a 1930’s take on Georgian …

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Studio Interior with Nude, William Brooker, 1953

26th May 2020 / Collections, Museum

William ‘Bill’ Brooker studied at Croydon School of Art, Chelsea School of Art and Goldsmiths College of Art. Between 1949 and 1965 he taught at a number of art schools including the Bath Academy of Art in Corsham. While teaching there Brooker lived in the town, working and recruiting notable artists of the British Post …

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