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From contemporary art to Old Masters, local history to a nationally important Arts and Crafts collection, the museum offers a diverse range of exhibits and artefacts.
In 1899 the third Baron de Ferrieres – former Mayor and MP for Cheltenham – gave 43 paintings to the town, together with £1000 towards a building in which to house them.
In 1905 the gallery extended into the building next door, a move which enabled the collections to grow in number and in quality, with the majority of works being given by the people of Cheltenham. Further renovation took place in 2013, with four additional floors providing gallery space for temporary exhibitions of touring shows, special highlights from the museum's archive and artefacts from the arts and crafts collection.
Highlights include an exploration of local history – from Regency Cheltenham to Gloucestershire's aircraft pioneers – Arts and Crafts furniture, Bronze Age swords, Egyptian artefacts and paintings spanning four centuries, including works by Francesco Guardi and Stanley Spencer.