VIPs from the art world will come to Cookham this weekend to celebrate an “unprecedented” collection of paintings on show at a new exhibition.

‘The Creative Genius of Stanley Spencer’ brings together collections from Aberdeen City Art Gallery and Leeds City Art Gallery to the museum in the famous artists’ home village.

And Sir Peter Bazalgette, chief executive and chair of Arts Council England, will arrive on Saturday to unveil the exhibition at the Stanley Spencer Gallery.

He will be joined by Theresa May and other dignitaries for the opening and private view at 6pm followed by a talk at the nearby Odney Club.

The gallery’s Dr Shez Courtenay-Smith said: “We are delighted that Sir Peter Bazalgette has kindly agreed to open this most significant exhibition.

“The exhibition will exemplify the extraordinary diversity of Spencer's output and the breadth of his creative genius.”

The collection is the first time the two collections have been displayed together, alongside paintings on loan from private collectors and the gallery’s own collection.

The aim is to portray the breadth and diversity of the output from the celebrated 20th century artist, who is famous for his connection to Cookham and its residents.