Heong Gallery opened

heong gallery

Photograph by Tim Rawle and Louis Sinclair ©

A new art gallery at Downing College dedicated to modern and contemporary art in the heart of Cambridge opened on 6th February 2016.

Opening hours and admission

Free Admission

Opening Hours
Wednesdays: 10 – 8pm
Weekends and bank holidays: 10 - 6pm

First exhibition

Generation Painting 1955-65
British Art from the Collection of Sir Alan Bowness

6 February – 22 May 2016

The gallery has opened with an exhibition of works from the private collection of Sir Alan Bowness, former Director of Tate and an alumnus of Downing College. Generation Painting 1955-65: British Art from the Collection of Sir Alan Bowness features works by an array of significant mid-twentieth-century British artists including major works by Patrick Heron, Allen Jones, Peter Lanyon and William Scott. It is the first time these rarely seen works will be displayed together, and the exhibition draws links between Bowness’ collection and his long career in the arts. The exhibition is curated by Rachel Rose Smith.

Scott Blue Still Life
Blue Still Life by William Scott, 1957


Architects Caruso St John have transformed the College’s Edwardian stables into the new gallery space. This follows their 2009 redevelopment of the College’s Dining Hall, which dates from 1818. The College was founded in 1800 and its beautiful neo-classical buildings, designed by William Wilkins, are set in spacious and peaceful gardens in the centre of Cambridge.

Advisory board

Frank Salmon, Downing College alumnus and Art History Department, Cambridge University
John Tancock, Downing College alumnus, former Sotheby’s Vice President, currently Chambers Fine Art in New York which specialises in contemporary Chinese Art
Andrew Nairne, Director of Kettle’s Yard
Tim Knox, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum
George Bailey, Downing College alumnus, former Sotheby’s Commercial Director
Louise Arnell, Trustee of the Pebble Trust
Hamish Dewar, Downing College alumnus, art restorer
Sir David King, Former Master of Downing College, art collector
Gifford Combs, Donor to the project, art collector, Cambridge University alumnus
Sir Martin Kemp, Downing College alumnus and Honorary Fellow, art historian
Chris Bartram, Downing College alumnus, art collector, major donor to the project

The art gallery is part of a larger construction project at Downing College which contains 78 student rooms and eight common rooms. The project has created a new court, called First Court, at the entrance to the College and the Edwardian stables (built in 1902-1903) have converted into the art gallery that is now open to the public.

The Gallery has been named by Alwyn Heong, an alumnus of Downing College, who is a passionate supporter of the visual arts and a collector. It was opened by Sir Alan Bowness at a ceremony on 5 February.


Plans and drawings 
Construction photos on Flickr 
Gallery website (under construction)

News reports

The Daily Telegraph
The Cambridge News

Information for the press

For further press information please contact:

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