Skip to main content
Robert Cripps Gallery, Magdalene College Cambridge

The Robert Cripps Gallery – A Home for Art

On the ground floor of the New Library, and opening out through doors onto the Fellows’ Garden is The Robert Cripps Gallery.

Named in honour of Mr Robert Cripps AM, a passionate art collector, generous benefactor and supporter, and Honorary Fellow of the College since 2005.

The Gallery, running almost the length of the building, benefits from wonderful natural light as there are four floor length windows which can be opened in warmer weather. A dedicated space for exhibitions the Gallery has three central museum grade display cabinets, a gallery grade picture hanging system, and the temperature and humidity can be controlled to gallery specifications. The space is both one for quiet contemplation and, when the end wall partition is rolled back to reveal the ‘social space’ at the south end of the building, an ideal area, already popular, for small to mediumsized social gatherings and drinks parties.

The Gallery opened in November 2021 with an exhibition kindly loaned to the College by the Royal Geographical Society, London. This showcased a selection of stunning platinum prints of the approaches to Mount Everest, and the mountain itself, from the 1921 British Mount Everest Reconnaissance Expedition; many of the images were taken by our famous alumnus, George Mallory (1905). In Lent Term 2022, we were pleased to support an exhibition on loan from the Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro and the Foster Foundation of Palo Alto, California. Entitled ‘Fragile Planet’, it celebrated the wonderful watercolour paintings of the wilderness artist and environmentalist Tony Foster. The paintings capture, in remarkable detail, both the beauty and vulnerability of five landscapes - rainforests, water, arctic, deserts and, in a series of ‘lockdown diary’ tableaux, Cornwall (Tony’s home county). We are now busy planning an Exhibition of East Anglian landscape paintings and examples of Australian Aboriginal art from the Collection of Robert Cripps to be in place for the official opening of the New Library in July 2022.

Further details on the Gallery, on past and future exhibitions, and on access arrangements, can be found at The Robert Cripps Gallery.

By Professor Tom Spencer (1973), Fellow

This article was first published in Magdalene Matters Spring/Summer 2022 Issue 52.