Nicholson Museum & Art Gallery
The Nicholson Museum & Art Gallery
Dating back to the 1880's the Nicholson Museum & Art Gallery dominates the skyline of Leek and today is home to a collection of impressive oil paintings, ceramics, local history and a fine selection of the famous Leek Embroideries.
In days gone by many distinguished figures passed through the doors, including renowned Arts & Crafts designer William Morris and D. H. Lawrence along with other celebrity artists and writers. Famous faces from all over the world came to the Nicholson Museum & Art Gallery where it came alive with music recitals and lectures by the likes of Oscar Wilde and John Betjeman.
Come along and visit the Nicholson Museum & Art Gallery where throughout the year you will find a regular rolling programme of exhibitions and events. Delight in stepping back in time to enjoy some of Leek's facinating history. Free Admission.
History of the Nicholson Museum & Art Gallery
The Nicholson was officially opened on 16th October 1884 and cost £20,000. It was commissioned by Joshua Nicholson, a local mill owner, who bequeathed the building as a gift to the people. It housed a museum, library, art gallery and school of art. Joshua Nicholson wanted to give the ordinary people an alternative to the Public House.
The building was designed by the Leek based architects William Sugden & Son in the Queen Anne style. Sugden was also the architect for other inspirational buildings which give Leek its special character. Incorporating an art gallery, library and now a museum, the Nicholson is one of only three buildings in the country which is being used for its original purpose. Guided tours of the Nicholson can be arranged for a minimum of four people. Please call the library on 01538 483209 to make an appointment.
PCF & BBC – Your Paintings.
The Nicholson Museum & Art Gallery were thrilled to be invited by the BBC to feature in their promotional film for the PCF & BBC Your Paintings.
The PCF (Public Catalogue Foundation) has partnered with the BBC to create Your Paintings, a unique website showcasing the entire collection of publicly owned oil paintings across the United Kingdom. To view this website go to PCF Your Paintings
In September 2010 the Nicholson reopened its doors and part of the collection was put on display. There was, however, a substantial amount still stored in the bunker, including what many believe to be our prize possession; an oil on canvas painting by William Wyld titled ‘The Venetian’. Painted around 1840, we believe, this impressive painting is breathtakingly beautiful, measuring approximately two metres in length it portrays a busy merchant’s harbour in Venice. At the time of the filming the painting was stored in the bunker due to being in need of restoration. Whilst ensuring a safe, secure and temperature controlled environment, it was particularly sad to see such a beautiful painting out of view from the pubic.
Inspired by the BBC coming to film and thrilled at being a part of this inspirational project we at the Nicholson Museum & Art Gallery, supported by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council organised the restoration of this magnificent painting.
The restoration is now complete and the painting was unveiled at a ceremony by Cllr Sybil Ralphs, leader of the Council.. Today, The Venetian hangs on the wall and takes pride of place in the Nicholson Museum.
To view the BBC film of the Nicholson Museum & Art Gallery and other UK Art Galleries please go to Your Paintings
To view the collection of oil paintings belonging to the Nicholson Museum & Art Gallery Oil Paintings at PCF
Shopping at the Nicholson Museum & Art Gallery
Open 10:00am - 4:00pm Monday - Saturday.
The Nicholson Museum & Art Gallery Shop carries a wide selection of traditional and exclusive gifts at great prices. Arts & Crafts inspired gifts, greeting's cards, local history books and exquisite William Morris silk ties, bags and scarves.
For more information go to Shopping at the Nicholson Museum & Art Gallery.
Volunteering at the Nicholson Museum & Art Gallery
We are always keen to welcome volunteers to assist in the running of the Nicholson Museum & Gallery. We are able to offer training, quality work experience and the chance to be part of an energetic and friendly team. If you are interested in volunteering or just want to find out more please call Alison Thomas on 01538 395456 and leave a message. Or simply fill in the short Volunteer Application form, see documents below.
The Museum Art Gallery
For more information contact:-
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Arts Development Service.
Telephone 0345 605 3010
Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm
Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays
Last updated: 18th March 2013