BOURNEMOUTH'S Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum is marking 100 years since it first opened to the public.

This year the museum, situated on the East Cliff, will hold a range of special events including themed late-night openings, touring exhibitions, talks and workshops, and more. to celebrate the centenary.

Sarah Newman, museum manager said: "Our visitors love the Russell-Cotes and its extraordinary and enchanting atmosphere, which is so important to them for their sense of place and their personal wellbeing, particularly in these strange times.

"We hope that our exciting programme of events and exhibitions will inspire even more people to visit the museum in 2022 to find enjoyment, inspiration, fun or perhaps solace.

"As well as looking back, the centenary is a great opportunity to look forward and we are looking forward to sharing many new developments over the next year."

The Russell-Cotes is where Victorian couple Merton and Annie Russell-Cotes gathered art as well as objects from world cultures before it was given to the people of Bournemouth for their inspiration and enjoyment.

Merton Russell-Cotes built his dream house on a cliff-top overlooking the sea which he then gave to his wife Annie on her birthday in 1901.

Together, they filled the spectacular seaside villa with British art and beautiful objects collected on their worldwide travels.

The main hall hosts a collection of high Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite art. Other rooms in the house showcase souvenirs from the couple’s travels, with works from Russia, Australia, New Zealand, and the world-renowned Japanese collection.

Cllr Beverley Dunlop, portfolio holder for culture and vibrant Places at BCP Council said: "The Russell-Cotes was generously given to the people of Bournemouth 100 years ago.

"It's one of the most iconic buildings in Bournemouth, in a spectacular location nestled on the cliff top.

"It houses an extraordinary internationally important collection and has played an important part in Bournemouth’s cultural history.

"It continues to be an inspiration to the people of the town, ensuring Bournemouth thrives as a vibrant cultural centre for locals and visitors."