New Walk Museum & Art Gallery
Leicester's premier museum with collections from the natural and cultural world






  A Brief History
New Walk Museum and Art Gallery is situated within the historic New Walk area of the city. In 1849 the Literary and Philosophical Society formally presented to the town its various collections, which have grown and developed over the last 150 years into one of the premier museums in the region. New Walk Museum has been the inspiration for many people including Lord Attenborough and Sir David Attenborough, who pursued their love of art and natural history as a result of spending their formative years as regular visitors to the galleries. Leicester's oldest museum has wide-ranging collections spanning the natural and cultural world. The museum has a coffee shop, and is also a venue for musical performances and weddings.


  Gimson-Background to the project
In 1849 Leicester’s town museum, centred on the Literary and Philosophical Society’s collection of arts, antiquities and natural history, was opened in New Walk. In 1885 an art gallery was added.

Following Ernest Gimson’s death in 1919, members of his family donated examples of his work both to the Museum and Art Gallery and to University College, Leicester.

William Arthur Evans was a wealthy local businessman and chairman of Imperial Typewriters. He lived in Inglewood, the house designed by Gimson, from 1913. In 1904 he married Nancy Goddard, was one of three daughters of Joseph Goddard, a Leicester chemist who developed Goddard’s silver polish. They shared an interest in the Arts & Crafts Movement. They and several other members of both the Evans and Goddard families commissioned Arts & Crafts pieces including furniture from Peter Waals. Examples of this furniture were given to the Museum and Art Gallery in the 1960s and ‘70s.

Work by Ernest Gimson was included in a ground-breaking exhibition, Victorian and Edwardian Decorative Arts, organised by Peter Floud at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1952. In 1969 Leicester marked the 50th anniversary of Gimson’s death with an exhibition organised by Lionel Lambourne. This was the first time that a comprehensive range of Gimson’s work had been shown in public and was the beginning of a reappraisal of his reputation.

In 1978 Leicester Museums Service published a catalogue of its collections,
'Ernest Gimson and the Cotswold Group of Craftsmen', which has been revised
by Annette Carruthers and republished in 2007.

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New Walk Museum and Art Gallery 53 New Walk, Leicester LE1 7EA