Lewis Elton Gallery
The Lewis Elton Gallery is situated at the heart of the University of Surrey's campus. It hosts an extensive and dynamic schedule of exhibitions and events. The Lewis Elton Gallery is also responsible for the maintenance of the University Art Collection as well as a range of special collections.
Opening Times: Monday - Friday, 10am - 5pm.
Access at the weekends is by prior appointment only. Please telephone us on +44 (0)1483 682167 to arrange your visit.
Parking: Please use the pay and display facility in the main car park. Parking for mobility impaired visitors is available near the gallery, please telephone in advance of your visit.
History: Professor Lewis Elton came to England in 1939 as a refugee from Prague. He gained his Ph.D in Theoretical Physics at UCL which led to a lectureship at King's College, London. He went on to become head of Physics at Battersea College of Technology accompanying it in its transplantation to the University of Surrey.
At Battersea he started a project in 1963 to show real art in the Physics Department. 25 years later Lewis suggested an exhibition Then and Now to show the work of some of the artists who exhibited during the first 10 years there, contrasting what they were doing at that time with current work. Those represented included local artists Charles Bone, Brian Dunce, Sir George Pollock, Ronald Smoothey and James Winterbottom, and David Hockney. Lewis confesses he wished he had acquired one of Hockney's works when it hung in his corridor! Pat Grayburn, UniS Arts Administrator, became involved in a good deal of detective work to trace the artists and collected two of Hockney's works from a warehouse on a trading estate in Slough with much trepidation. Also included was Kay Lathbury's portrait of Professor Elton which now hangs in the gallery.
When the George Edward's library was refurbished the gallery had to be relocated. It re-opened on the ground floor on the north side of the Library in 1997 with an exhibition of prints by Picasso, Histoire Naturelle, it was thought highly appropriate to dedicate the gallery to Lewis Elton.
Reviewing Then and Now in the Surrey Advertiser, Judith Brooke wrote:
'The art exhibitions at the University of Surrey have often been challenging, provocative, intellectually stimulating, never dull. The warmth and friendliness of the private view parties adds to the flavour and so much of this stems from Professor Lewis Elton's initial inspiration.'
The gallery continues to flourish and there is a queue of artists waiting to exhibit. Exhibitions usually run for 3 weeks during semester and there is also one during July as our contribution to the Guildford Summer Festival. The policy is generally to avoid artists who have exposure in the other Guildford galleries and to seek further afield. A number of Royal Academicians have shown their work and some London galleries have generally lent pictures.