Methodist Church Collection of Modern Christian Art

In the early 1960s Douglas A. *Wollen (e.m. 1939), who wrote regularly on art for the Times, the *Methodist Recorder etc., collaborated with Dr John Gibbs in forming a collection of modern Christian art. Under the title 'The Church and the Artist' the collection was taken on a tour throughout England and Wales which included major art galleries. Exhibits included photographs, drawings and actual examples of church design and furnishings, in the hope of raising the quality of design within church life. The collection was then housed at Kingswood School, with individual items being lent to other Methodist schools and colleges. It is one of the finest denominational collections of twentieth century art, offering an exploration of Christian themes to a wide audience, and includes works by Burra, Frink, Rouault and Sutherland. Since 1998 it has been based at Westminster College, Oxford (now a campus of Oxford Brookes University). In 2019 plans were undertaken for the consrvation and permanent housing of the collection between exhibitions.

  • Roger A. Wollen, The Church and the Artist (1993)
  • Peter Wakelin, John Gibbs and art appreciation in Wales 1945-1996 (Cardiff, 2004)
  • Roger Wollen, A Guide to the Methodist Art Collection, 2nd edn., 2010