The Oxford Gallery was established in 1968 at 23 High Street, Oxford, by Joan Crossley-Holland MBE (1912-2005), who ran the gallery until 1986 and Valerie Stewart, who left the Bear Lane Gallery to attempt to support craftsmen-artists such as the potter Lucie Rie (1902-1995). It was established as a limited company through sales of £56,000-worth of shares, the first directors including Brian Lloyd, Ethel Fasal, Priscilla Bain and Ruth Lutyens. Valerie Stewart and Lindsey Hoole stepped back from day-to-day involvement in the gallery, Kristina Mason taking over as Managing Director. Both remained active Directors until the Gallery closed, and Valerie Stewart became Chairman in 1997. Michelle Bowen came to the Gallery in 1995 and became a Director in 1996. The team helping to run the Gallery also included Kathryn Chamberlain, 1993-1995, Diana Naumann, 1993-1999, Tess Cockburn, 1995-1999, and Merlin Brooke-Little, 1999-2001. Deborah Elliott was Managing Director 1994-1999, and Michelle Bowen was the last Managing Director. The Gallery closed in February 2001.
Influential figures in contemporary craft featured in the intensive month-on-month exhibition programme: in the field of textiles we find Peter Collingwood, Constance Howard, Theo Moorman; in the field of jewellery Wendy Ramshaw was joined by the young Caroline Broadhead, Jacqueline Mina and Susanna Heron. Jacqueline Poncelet, Sutton Taylor and Julian Stair all had important early shows here in the 1970s and 1980s and Joanna Constantinidis was a regular feature of the programme. Printmaking, a significant strength of the gallery, was enriched through close involvement with the Bradford Print Biennale in the 1970s and early 1980s. The gallery's portfolio of artists in this sphere was truly international with Japanese woodcuts by Tsugumi Ota and American screenprints by Jim Dine sitting alongside etchings by Anthony Gross and the great Stanley Hayter. Hayter, whose work at Atelier 17 in Paris had set him alongside many of the greatest figures in 20th-century art, opted to have his 80th-birthday show at Oxford Gallery.' Other significant exhibitions were Philip Eglin's first solo show, Richard Batterham's sixtieth Birthday show and Breon O'Casey's last solo jewellery show. It was the only Craft Gallery which showed Fine Art of the same quality as the Applied Art. As well as the print collection, it showed painters such as Patrick Heron, Terry Frost, John Hoyland and Roger Hilton.