18 January – 21 April 2014

Notions of love and the embrace have fascinated artists across the centuries. This exhibition, the second in the newly reopened Art Gallery and Museum, will explore the work of artists of the 20th century and onwards whose work hints at their fascination with the human embrace.


Depicted through a range of media including painting, sculpture, photography and film, the exhibition will include work by Jacob Epstein, Marc Chagall, Eileen Agar, Gilbert and George, Charlie Murphy, Kenneth Armitage, Emma Critchley, Chris Ofili, David Inshaw and Eileen Cooper on loan from national museums, galleries and private collections.

Related displays

Dance on Film

Cast Aside Camille Claudel

This stunning film captures the spirit and work of French sculptor Camille Claudel, the forgotten lover and muse of world famous artist Auguste Rodin. Showing throughout the exhibition; it was created and performed by nationally performing dance artist Marie-Lousie Flexen. The filming is by dance photographer and film maker Kevin Clifford. It has an original sound track by local composer and musician Steven Skinley.

My Valentine

8 February – 10 August 2014

A selection of beautifully made Victorian and Edwardian Valentine’s cards from The Wilson’s collection will be on display from 8 February in the newly built Paper Store. Some delicately paper-cut, one holding a pocket of perfume.

Events Programme

Join in and take part in an exciting programme of activities, events and workshops organised to support Embrace.
Bookings from 6 January

The Kiss

Special Valentine’s Day Event

Friday 14 February
7 – 10.30pm

With works of art depicting images of love and Rodin’s sculpture The Kiss on display, The Wilson is the perfect place to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. Following in Rodin’s romantic footsteps, the evening takes on a French theme. Why not bring your loved one to see the exhibition, enjoy delicious French food and wine in the café and live performances of French music in a unique cultural setting.
Booking from 6 January

The Hunt for Rodin’s Hat Family Trail

14 February – 2 March

Free activity

Families will join together in this fun activity hunt around Cheltenham town centre for hats with clues about what could have happened to Rodin’s own hat.

Where did you get that Hat? Family Event

Wednesday 19 February
and Thursday 20 February
10.30am – 12.30pm and 1.30 – 3.30pm

A free drop-in event for all ages

Inspired by the myth that sculptor, Auguste Rodin left his hat behind in Cheltenham children and adults will make their own funky headwear in this creative drop in workshop.

Life Drawing Course for Adults

Saturday 22 March
10am – 4pm

Tickets £40

This one day taster workshop will introduce the basics of life drawing, exploring line and form with an unclothed model. Led by artist and teacher Viv Ayres. All creative materials provided. No lunch included.

Take Those Lips Away

Wednesday 26 March, 2pm
Thursday 27 March, 2pm
Friday 28 March, 2pm and 3pm

Free event

Come and enjoy this creative performance in response to the Embrace exhibition and Rodin’s The Kiss. The performance is devised by final year Performing Arts Students from University of Gloucestershire and directed by Gillian Yates.

Open Monday – Wednesday / Friday – Saturday 9.30am – 5.15pm. Thursday 9.30am – 7.45pm. Sunday 11am – 4pm.
(Closed on 25 & 26 December, 1 January and Easter Sunday)

Admission free

Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum
Clarence Street
GL50 3JT
Tel: 01242 237431