Stanley Spencer Gallery
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Spencer was born at Fernlea on the High Street in Cookham, in a house built by his grandfather. His father William was a music teacher, and Stanley was raised in an environment full of music, art, and literature. Stanley attended a family-run school, with an emphasis on the Bible, nature, and music. Long walks in nature were part of Stanley's education, and the themes of religion, the natural world, and the Cookham area recur throughout his work.
He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London and enjoyed some success before the outbreak of war in 1914. He enlisted in the medical corps, but later served in the infantry and fought in the trenches in France. One of Spencer's most enduring works was the Sandham Memorial Chapel at Burghclere, inspired by Spencer's own experiences during WWI.
After the war, Spencer's artistic career flourished, though his private life was tumultuous, with two failed marriages. He returned again and again to Cookham and was often seen pushing a pram loaded with his painting equipment.
Stanley Spencer was almost synonymous with Cookham; he loved the area and used it as inspiration for his greatest works of art. A new 'Cookham Walk' booklet allows visitors to follow in Spencer's footsteps and find some of the nearby locations where Spencer worked on his paintings and the views that inspired him.
The museum opened in 1962, just 3 after Spencer's death, and holds a huge collection of Spencer's sketches, drawings, paintings, and lithographs, as well as mementoes tracing his life and his ties to Cookham.
About Stanley Spencer Gallery
Address: The Kings Hall, High Street, Cookham-on-Thames, Berkshire, England, SL6 9SJ
Attraction Type: Museum
Location: 3 miles north of Maidenhead, on the A4094
Website: Stanley Spencer Gallery
OS: SU897 853
Photo Credit: N Chadwick, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Cliveden - 1.1 miles (Garden)
Taplow Court - 2.1 miles (Historic House)
Dorneywood Garden - 2.6 miles (Garden)
Bisham, All Saints Church - 3 miles (Historic Church)
Bray, St Michael's Church - 3.6 miles (Historic Church)
Dorney, St James the Less Church - 4.3 miles (Historic Church)
Dorney Court - 4.3 miles (Historic House)
Penn, Holy Trinity Church - 5.1 miles (Historic Church)
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