Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, Ditchling

#4 of 6 in Things to do in Ditchling
Now showing: 'The Book Beautiful: William Morris, Hilary Pepler & The Private Press Story' | 'Dyeing Now: Contemporary Makers Celebrate Ethel Mairet''s Legacy | 'Tadek Beutlich: Beyond Craft' | 'John Vernon Lord: A Catalogue of Life'.

Ditchling became a centre for visual arts and crafts in the early 20th century. The museum holds a nationally important collection of works by the artists and craftsmen who were drawn to the village. Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft offers a unique environment to see the objects in the village they were made.

Some of the artists associated with Ditchling and included in the Museum collection are Frank Brangwyn, Eric Gill, Philip Hagreen, Edward Johnston, David Jones, Ethel Mairet and Hilary Pepler.

The Museum reopened 21 September 2013 following a major refurbishment by Adam Richards Architects. A refurbished 18th Century cart lodge forms the entrance, café and shop and leads you to a beautiful new build made from engineered timber and then into the reimagined exhibition space.
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Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft Reviews
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94 reviews
  • Lovely small museum especially if you want to know more about print. There is also a lovely tea shop selling delicious cakes  more »
  • It is a compact museum detailing the works of the local artists depicted including Eric Gill. It features the many covers of Penguin Essentials designed here. Its worth a short visit if you are in the...  more »
  • Very small museum not worth the £7.50 entrance fee. Also it has an obsession with past resident artist Eric Gill conveniently ignoring the fact he was a serial abuser who should not be celebrated.  more »
  • A newly refurbished building in a lovely location: garden, pond, church nearby - very calm. The museum itself is new and well laid out. The exhibition we saw (Eric Gill) was sadly a bit tame. It focused on Gill, only one of a few artists associated with Ditchling, and specifically focused on his dubious personal life, asking if the art could be separated from the artist - a good premise. Sadly, other than many nude drawings (often of his daughters) and the odd contentious religious piece, this felt superficial. Other unrelated pieces (printing press) felt neither part of, or separate from, the exhibition. Likewise, the minimal mention of other artists. A shame and a missed opportunity. The reading room is nice, and the gift shop / café were fine too.
  • Not enough exhibits in permanent collection. Labels of exhibits are sited at too low a level. Impossible to read easily or comfortably, probably positioned for wheelchair users?
  • Small but rich with interesting exhibits and varied, and often brave, specialist exhibitions. The tea room and shop are interesting and the staff friendly. Love this place. However, to appreciate some of the exhibits, one needs to take the time to read the available brochures and guides.
  • Not much to it, what was there was interesting but it's small. You can do it in half an hour & in my opinion it's not great value for money.
  • A gem of a museum, both for the outstanding collection of craft and design but also beautiful architecture and setting. See Dunstan Pruden's work there and then visit our workshop for a contemporary update!

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