Collection highlights

Artwork and Sculpture

The artwork collection at STEAM consists of 34 pieces, comprising eight oil paintings, one acrylic, 22 watercolour paintings and two lino cut prints. They range in date from the early 1800s to 2013, with the majority of works dating towards the latter part of this time frame.

  • Paddington Station – Margaret Neve

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    This contemporary painting of Paddington Station is painted in an abstract style and captures a view along platform 6, looking away from the famous Lawn area of the station.  The station’s spectacular arched roof spans over the main platforms where steam trains and carriages are waiting to depart.

    Paddington Station was painted in oil on canvas by Wolverhampton born artist Margaret Neve in the 1960’s.

  • Lithographs of the GWR - J. C, Bourne

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    John Cooke Bourne was a British artist, engraver and photographer. He was born in 1814, so was in his twenties when the GWR was beginning to be built. In 1846 he published a book titled The History and Description of the Great Western Railway.

    The book featured a series of drawings of landmarks along the GWR route. They included, tunnels, bridges, cuttings and some of the early principal buildings. Rather than focusing on being technically correct, his colour drawings were done in an artistic style which makes them a visually attractive record of the early days of the railway.

    We have a number of lithographs of Bourne’s drawings in the STEAM collection, as well of copies of the very large book they were reproduced in.

  • Railway Town – Terry Court

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    This vibrant oil painting by Terry Court is titled Railway Town and it is an impressionist portrayal of views from around Swindon.

    At the front of the painting men are seen entering the GWR Works site through the famous tunnel entrance, some of them pushing their bikes. A Great Western express train hurtles though the centre of the picture with smoke billowing from its chimney and fire blazing from the cab.  Coal heaps and signals further illustrate Swindon’s identity as a railway town.  The dramatic scene is completed with various Swindon landmarks towards the back of the painting, including St Marks Church and Moredon Power Station.

    Terry Court was Arts Officer for Thamesdown from 1974 – 1993. In this painting he portrays his memories of growing up as the son of a railwayman in Swindon. He subsequently donated the painting to STEAM’s collections. Railway Town is displayed in the entrance gallery at STEAM.

  • Swindon Works and Railway Village - Edward Snell, 1849

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    On display at STEAM is an early watercolour painting of New Swindon by Edward Snell. Snell was head draughtsman at Swindon Works, later becoming assistant to Works Manager, Archibold Sturrock in 1846. The image is a view to the east of New Swindon and clearly shows the rows of cottages in the Railway Village. Swindon Works buildings can be seen opposite the Village and the Station at the top of the painting.

    Explore the painting with STEAM’s Collections Officer, Elaine Arthurs using the video above.

    On loan from the National Railway Museum.

  • Marble busts by Edward W Wyon

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    Two marble busts on display at STEAM depict the original engineers of the GWR, Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Sir Daniel Gooch.

    They are the work of celebrated sculptor Edward W Wyon and were created in 1862.  Wyon exhibited his works every year at the Royal Academy between 1831 until 1876.  These busts were exhibited along with Wyon’s sculptures of other notable people of the day, including another famous railway engineer, George Stephenson.

    It is probable that at some point during their history these busts were a feature in the boardrooms of the GWR.

    On loan from the National Railway Museum.

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