Opened in September 2008, the gallery celebrates the work of the sculptor, Frederick Edward McWilliam, who was born in Newry Street, Banbridge on 30 April 1909. A contemporary and friend of Henry Moore, McWilliam made his name in London and established a reputation as one of the most important sculptors of his generation.
The facility consists of a beautifully designed open exhibition space. A permanent collection of McWilliam Sculptures are always on view in a glass display case at the front of the impressive gallery. An annual programme of outstanding exhibitions is scheduled for the gallery space to attract all lovers of art. An accompanying programme of lectures and workshops, supporting each exhibition, is delivered within the exhibition space.
The Sculpture Garden was designed to capture the spirit of F.E. McWilliam’s garden in which his studio was situated at his home in London’s Holland Park. Divided by yew hedging and herbaceous borders, the garden provides a series of tranquil ‘rooms’ in which to survey the sculptures on their granite plinths.
The Studio is a replica of McWilliam’s studio-workshop. Looking through the glass walls, the viewer can see the workshop just as F.E. McWilliam left it. All has been replaced as it was. The studio itself houses a large collection of maquettes which are preparatory works for sculpted bronzes. The works can be seen from the earliest stages of construction, from wire armature to sculpted plaster
The F.E. McWilliam Gallery is also home to Quails at the Gallery. This award-winning cafe offers high quality meals using local produce from Quails family-run farm. The café is open Monday to Saturday from 09:30 until 17:00 (Lunch served 12:00 – 15:00. Last serving 16:30).
A Craft Shop beautifully showcases handcrafted products made by talented designers and craftspeople including a wide range of jewellery, ceramics, fashion accessories and other gifts.
A Visitor Information Point, gallery staff are on hand at all times to assist the public with information and to respond to enquiries. Group tours and primary and post primary school groups are very welcome. Visits may be arranged by appointment. There is a programme of art and craft workshops for adults and children which run throughout the year.