‘No-strings attached’ - puppetry exhibition at Museum of Gloucester now free!


The exhibition features artworks not seen for more than 40 years, and can now be seen by everyone thanks to the admission fee being lifted.


More people than ever can now see the Museum of Gloucester’s ‘The Magical World of William Simmonds: Puppets and Paintings’ exhibition as it is now free to enter. 

The change has been made after the museum listened to feedback from visitors that it was too good for people to miss and the museum recognises it needed to be available to all.

The magnificent objects in the exhibition have not been seen by the public for 40+ years, making them a rarity. The puppets, carved in the early 1900’s, are in unbelievably good condition and the 4 paintings by Simmonds in the museum collection are the only ones not owned privately.

Admission to the rest of Museum of Gloucester is already free, making heritage and culture more accessible to the people of the city, county and the many millions of people who visit the area each year. Visitors are instead encouraged to make a voluntary donation (£5 recommended) in any of the boxes placed throughout the museum as a show of support. All donations go back into supporting the museum’s permanent collections, current, and future events and exhibitions.

For example, the museum has already had one of Simmonds’ paintings conserved. ‘Fairies Frolic’, which is part of the exhibition, had been damaged by being improperly stored in Simmonds’ studio and the conservation has restored it to near perfection. The Museum of Gloucester is looking to raise funds to have the other three conserved by launching a Crowdfunding campaign in the New Year.

Cllr Steve Morgan, cabinet member for culture and leisure at Gloucester City Council says the exhibition plays a “key part in the city’s arts and crafts offering”.

“This wonderful exhibition showcases the very best of the county’s arts and crafts heritage. It’s fantastic news that it is now free so everyone can experience these beautiful works of art, some which have not been seen for over 40 years. The artworks are in great condition and they, plus the conserved painting, are a sight to behold. They are truly enchanting and something everyone can enjoy.”

‘The Magical World of William Simmonds: Puppets and Paintings’ is on display at the Museum of Gloucester until Saturday 18 April 2020. Entry is now free for all.