"A Genius Revealed"

The Lightbox, Woking

15th April to 28th May 2017

The Trustees of Worplesdon Memorial Hall and the Sidney Sime Gallery are delighted to announce their forthcoming exhibition, A Genius Revealed, which will explore the life of Sidney Sime, 'Master of the Mysterious', through illustrations, paintings and drawings.  It will be held at The Lightbox, Woking, from 15th April to 28th May 2017.

This exhibition is being sponsored by Ewbank's Auctioneers to whom the Trustees are sincerely grateful.  It is an opportunity to say thank you to the many people and organisations who have helped to restore many of the pictures and to make more people aware of Sime's wide-ranging artistic talent.

The exhibition will include black-and-white pen-and-ink illustrations, watercolours and grandiose oils, together with letters and other items of interest.  With his fascination for imaginary beasts, the afterlife, and a world of fantasy, as well as beautiful Scottish scenes, local caricatures, theatrical and nursery rhyme drawings, there is something for all ages and interests by this extraordinary man who resided in Worplesdon from 1904 to 1941.

The Sidney Sime Gallery at Worplesdon, near Guildford in Surrey, houses a major collection of the fascinating and highly characteristic work of Sidney Sime (1865-1941), the famous artist, illustrator and caricaturist.


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Sidney Herbert Sime


Sime owned a cottage at Worplesdon - Crown Cottage - and spent much of his time there during the latter part of his life.

The gallery is on the first floor of Worplesdon Memorial Hall and was opened in 1956 with proceeds from the sale of Crown Cottage, on the death of Sime's widow Mary.  Mary bequeathed all those of her late husband's pictures that remained in her possession to the Trustees of the Worplesdon Memorial Hall for the creation of such a gallery.

The Trustees continue to make improvements to the Gallery, the most recent of which (2013) has been a complete, and extremely successful, renewal of the lighting system.  This was made possible by a grant from Surrey County Council and Guildford Borough Council through the Surrey Community Buildings Grant Scheme - support which is very gratefully acknowledged.

Paintings and drawings

There are 88 hung works on view, including theatrical caricatures, caricatures of local Worplesdon residents and landscape paintings in oil and watercolour.  In total there are over 500 catalogued items.  The Trustees pursue a continuing programme of restoration and conservation, for which they seek to attract donations and grants.

To view a selection of our pictures online, go to our online gallery page.  The oil paintings in our collection can be viewed in their entirety through the Art UK website.


The gallery also contains some furniture used frequently by Sime:  a gate-leg table, which contains two portfolios of Sime's work and also various publications of interest;  a Windsor chair;  and a tallboy containing his original sketch books, numerous oil paintings, etchings, watercolour sketches, drawings and caricatures, and press cuttings.

Visiting the gallery

The Gallery is open, from 2 to 4 pm, on Bank Holiday Mondays and on the first Wednesday of each month.

It is also open throughout the annual Guildford Heritage Weekend in September and can be visited at other times by appointment.  For details of where we are and how to contact us, see our visiting the gallery page.

Worplesdon Memorial Trustees

The Memorial Hall and the contents of the Sidney Sime Gallery are in the care of the Worplesdon Memorial Trustees, a registered charity.  More details can be found on the Worplesdon Memorial Hall website.

       © Worplesdon Memorial Trustees 2016