Our furniture and wood collections reflect the varied and closely-connected nature of the early modern crafts movement. Furniture by leading Cotswold makers such as Ernest Gimson, Harry Davoll, Sidney Barnsley and Edward Gardiner is represented alongside chairs from the workshop of William Morris, string puppets and sculpture by William Simmmonds, husband of the embroideress Eve Simmonds and carved wooden buttons by Percy Beales, husband of the distinguished linen weaver, Rita Beales. Designer-makers such as Gordon Russell and Edward Barnsley who strove to make good design more affordable for every day living are included in the collections. A substantial collection of carved wooden bowls and boxes by David Pye (Professor of Furniture Design at the Royal College of Art from 1948 to 1974) together with his wood-turning engine, lathe and associated tools form an important part of our collections.

Recent acquisitions have included a willow chair by Guy Martin who is committed to producing ecologically-sensitive furniture from sustainable sources. A Heritage Lottery Fund grant, 'Collecting Cultures' will enable the Centre to build upon its work by Alan Peters. Apprentice to Edward Barnsley, Peter's set up his own workshop in the 1960s and forms a direct link with the Arts and Crafts movement which is at the heart of the Centre's furniture collections. The following are a selection of makers represented in the collection.


Pioneers and their practice: furniture and wood
by Margot Coatts