Everywhere is Heaven | Stanley Spencer & Roger Wagner


Stanley Spencer Gallery, Cookham High Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 9SJ

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© Roger Wagner, The Harvest is the End of the World and the Reapers are Angels (1989)


The winter exhibition at the Stanley Spencer Gallery will be its first ever to show the work of a contemporary artist alongside works by Stanley Spencer. A number of works by Roger Wagner, from private collections, will be hung in the Gallery, alongside works from the Stanley Spencer Gallery and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (including Builders of the Tower of Babel and Making Columns for the Tower of Babel).

Roger’s work is undeniably informed by Spencer’s, but he works very much in his own style and spirit. His work – like Spencer’s - is unlike any other of his contemporaries. Both artists have been described as ‘visionary geniuses’, each seeking to evoke the mystical in everyday experience. Just as Spencer found Cookham to be ‘heaven on earth’, so Roger evokes biblical happenings in contemporary settings.

Both artists have been deeply informed by Italian Renaissance Primitives, such as Fra Angelico, but whereas Roger visited the monastery of San Marco as a boy, Spencer relied on the black and white images in his Gowans and Gray art books. They are equally united by a love of ‘metaphysicals’, as Stanley would have said. Roger met Giorgio de Chirico in Venice in 1973 – an artist who described his own style as ‘metaphysical’, and whose influence is clearly seen in Roger’s noiseless, enigmatic landscapes. Perhaps more important for both artists, are the metaphysical poets: John Donne and Thomas Traherne, the theologian and poet, who wrote with a visionary innocence and found mysticism in the natural world.

The title of the exhibition is taken from Spencer’s words about John Donne arriving in Heaven, and his description of the four figures facing in all directions because ‘everywhere is heaven so to speak’. The painting, on loan from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, will feature in the exhibition.

Amanda Bradley Petitgas, curator, said: “The Stanley Spencer Gallery is delighted to collaborate with Roger Wagner in its first collaboration with a contemporary artist. His work chimes perfectly with Spencer’s, both in its form, expression and spirit. Both artists, in their own way, express in painterly terms the beauty and spirituality of the world we live in.”

Roger Wagner, artist, said: I first saw John Donne arriving in Heaven when I was a student at the RA and have been aware ever since of travelling on a parallel path. Spencer might have seemed out of step with his contemporaries, but his desire to paint what George Herbert called ‘heaven in ordinary’ – the transcendent in the everyday – places him in a deep tradition of English painting and poetry, so that exhibiting alongside his work feels like joining with a great cloud of witnesses.

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Adult ticket£7.00 per ticket
Age 18 to 25 years£3.50 per ticket
Art Fund£3.50 per ticket
Museum Association£3.50 per ticket
RBWM Advantage Card£3.50 per ticket

Free Entry for: Friends of the Gallery, Carers, Accompanied Children (under 18)



  • Accessible Lift
  • All Areas Accessible to Disabled Visitors
  • Facilities for Visually Impaired Visitors - Large print guides, Gallery guide is available in large print.
  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Ramp/Level Access

Children & Infants

  • Babes in Arms
  • Children’s packs
  • Family Friendly, Children Welcome

Establishment Features

  • Air conditioning throughout
  • All weather attraction
  • Gift shop
  • Guided tours by arrangement
  • Open on bank holidays
  • Special Opening for Groups by Arrangement

Parking & Transport

  • On street parking only
  • Railway station within 5 miles
  • Railway station within walking distance

Payment Methods

  • American Express accepted
  • Delta accepted
  • Groups Accepted - Essential to prebook.Pre-booking essential preferably Mon-Fri, mornings. Groups of 25 and over may be split NO GROUP RATES
  • Maestro
  • Maestro Accepted
  • MasterCard
  • MasterCard accepted
  • Max group size - 50
  • Min group size - 6
  • Open by appointment only - Extra Charge
  • Visa accepted

Provider Preferences

  • Indoor Attraction
  • No Smoking Attraction
  • Village Location

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Educational Visits Accepted
  • Guided Tours Available for Groups

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Map & Directions

Opening Times

Open (9 Nov 2023 - 24 Mar 2024)
Thursday - Sunday11:00 - 16:30

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Stanley Spencer Gallery. © The Estate of  Spencer.  All Rights Reserved, 2015 / Bridgeman Art LibraryStanley Spencer Gallery, Windsor and MaidenheadThe Stanley Spencer Gallery is situated in the heart of Cookham, the picturesque ‘village in heaven’ where Spencer was born and painted for most of his life.

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