The Burton at Bideford Art Gallery and Museum
The Burton Art Gallery and Museum is over 65 years old. With its friendly team of staff and volunteers, it has been celebrating, exhibiting and nurturing all kinds of artists since being established on 31 October, 1951 by Thomas Burton, a local businessman, and Hubert Coop, a successful artist.
The Burton is a community venue for everyone to love and access freely. It holds Bideford’s museum and has art galleries, a shop that’s great for cards and gifts, a café, workshop rooms for hire and is Bideford’s tourist information centre.
The building was opened to commemorate the untimely death of Burton’s daughter, Mary, who died of cancer in 1949 at the age of just 44. She was a talented artist in her own right and her father wanted the gallery to be a lasting memorial to her.
In a letter to the Bideford Gazette in October 1949, Burton’s friend Coop wrote:
‘It’s a happy chance that two old townsmen have come together to make a last effort to leave the town richer than they found it. The gallery should be a peaceful haven where one may take a quiet look at beautiful things; a gallery for the enjoyment, education and good of all, old and young, inhabitants and visitors – everyone and, as far as one can tell, of lasting credit to the living and those to come…’