In 1898 the third Baron de Ferrieres, a former Mayor and MP for Cheltenham, gave 43 important paintings, mostly from Belgium and the Netherlands, to the town, together with £1000 towards the building of a gallery in which to house them. This was opened in 1899. In 1905 the Schools of Art and Science left the premises they occupied next door to the Art Gallery and the Museum was opened in these rooms two years later. From that time the collections grew in number and in quality, with the great majority generously given by the people of Cheltenham. The collections are particularly strong in painting, prints and drawings of Cheltenham since the 1740s. Also on display are souvenir china showing views of the town, and the high-quality products of its woodcarvers and metalworkers, such as William Letheren and H H Martyn, during the late 19th and 20th centuries. Throughout the galleries, the life and landscapes of Gloucestershire, from prehistory to modern times, are recurring themes.

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