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Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum

East Cliff

Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum was built in 1897 as a home for Sir Merton and Lady Annie Russell-Cotes. It was gifted to Bournemouth Borough Council with its contents of a substantial art collection, furniture, ceramics, sculpture and world-wide collection when they died.

The plans for East Cliff Hall were drawn in 1897 and the building was completed in its first form in 1901. This date is significant in being the year Queen Victoria died and makes it one of the last Victorian buildings ever built. Although it was finally completed six years after the death of the Queen, it remains very Victorian in style; it must be remembered that the Russell-Coteses were in their sixties when they had it built. The house continued to be adapted until the death of Merton and Annie with the conversion of the Blue Bedroom into the Japanese Room, the library into the Irving Room and alteration to the Entrance Hall.

Today the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum is open to the public. It houses a children's art gallery called Stories, Voices, Journeys; here children can record their own story, draw a masterpiece, do jigsaws, create faces by using the Artcraft which is the home of 'Scorch' the dragon.

Strong emphasis is placed on outreach work: with recent work focusing on families and schools creating their own exhibitions.

This beautiful and highly decorated house is nationally important for its interior and requires continual work to maintain it at the standard achieved through our recent refurbishment. The Café at the Russell-Cotes turns towards present times with an emphasis on contemporary makers - the floor, furniture, tapestry, tableware and glass screen have all been designed and made by artists from the southern region of England.

General Information:

  • Café
  • Shop
  • Disabled toilet and baby changing facilities.

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    Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum Postcode for SatNav: BH1 3AA


    +44 (0)1202 451 800
    +44 (0)1202 451 851

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