The Russell-Cotes Museum is housed in the former home of Merton Russell-Cotes and his wife Annie.
Merton owned the Royal Bath Hotel, and commissioned a house to be built in the garden of the Royal Bath Hotel as a birthday present to his wife Annie. The house, originally called East Cliff Hall, was both a home for the Russell-Cotes’, as well as somewhere to display the sizeable collection of art and memorabilia they had gathered from all over the world.
In 1907, Annie and Merton Russell-Cotes donated East Cliff Hall, its contents, and their fine art collection to the town of Bournemouth. They were were made honorary freemen of Bournemouth and continued living in part of the house for a further 10 years. After their deaths the running of the house was taken over by the Borough of Bournemouth and renamed The Russell-Cotes Museum and Art Gallery.
Apart from the collections housed in the museum, the house itself, now a Grade II Listed Building is impressive, and the views from the house are spectacular! Annie and Merton were both heavily involved in the design, and Merton wrote: “I made up my mind to construct it architecturally to combine the Renaissance with Italian and old Scottish baronial styles”.
The Russell-Cotes collection includes some fine examples of European and Japanese arts and a number of its works are regularly on loan to galleries around the world. There are also regular exhibitions, activities, and an excellent coffee shop.
Vist the Russell-Cotes Museum website for opening times and details of current exhibitions.
Book a stay at the Whitehall Hotel, Bournemouth.