Permanent Collection

Please note, the permanent collection display is currently smaller due to our large temporary exhibition, Dame Vera Lynn: An Extraordinary Life. 

It might be surprising that a village the size of Ditchling warrants a museum dedicated to the art and craft created by local artists. But Ditchling is no ordinary village. Throughout the 20th century it attracted artists and craft workers of national repute. This museum provides the opportunity to see the works in the place where they were made.

When Eric Gill arrived in 1907, he was not the first artist in the village, but the Catholic guild of artists and craft workers he co-founded with Hilary Pepler, Desmond Chute and Joseph Cribb was the magnet for many who followed subsequently. Two miles north of the village on Ditchling Common, the Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic built homes, a chapel, and workshops for silversmiths, stone carvers, carpenters, printers and weavers. The Guild ran from 1920 to 1989. In the village other important artists worked including Edward Johnston, Rowland Emett, Ethel Mairet, Frank Brangwyn and Charles Knight, while distinguished illustrators Raymond Briggs and John Vernon Lord work in the village now.

The museum’s permanent collection showcases and champions the incredible work of these craftspeople.