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Cottage near Chippenham, c.1810

16th November 2021 / Collections

Benjamin Barker was an accomplished landscape painter from a family of artists that included his father, Benjamin the Elder (1729-1803), and brothers, Thomas (1769-1847) and Joseph (1782-1809). Born in Pontypool, Wales in 1776, the family moved to fashionable Bath in 1783, where there would have been greater opportunities for the artistic family. In 1801 he …

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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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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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