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Lighting Up the Stage: Stars of the Georgian Theatre
Feb 2 – Jun 3 all-day
Lighting Up the Stage: Stars of the Georgian Theatre @ The Holburne Museum

William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), a playwright and novelist, began collecting paintings of actors in the 1910s. He built a sizeable and important collection of theatrical portraits, which he displayed in his villa in the south of France. The collection remained together throughout the Second World War, despite Maugham himself having to leave France and his villa being taken over by the occupying forces. He gifted his collection to the National Theatre in 1951, from which the paintings were transferred to Bath in 2010.
The collection contains key works by Zoffany, including portraits of David Garrick in some of his most celebrated tragic and comic roles, and the 18th century small scale portraitist Samuel de Wilde. The theatrical portraits immortalise stars of the 18th and 19th stage in character and often in moments of high drama. The collection forms an important historical record as well as being the unique creation of one man’s personal taste.
This temporary display will provide a rare view of some of the less frequently seen portraits in the Maugham collection. These include sitters whose names may be less familiar to audiences today but who were nevertheless considered among the great actors of their day. They include the comic actor Richard Wilson (1744-96); and John Palmer (1745-98), who regularly performed at Drury Lane and who Sheridan nicknamed ‘plausible Jack’.

Anthony Fry: A Retrospective
Feb 9 – May 7 all-day
Anthony Fry: A Retrospective @ The Holburne Museum

We are delighted to be showing the first museum retrospective of the painter Anthony Fry (1927-2016), who enjoyed huge commercial success in Britain and America during his lifetime but has not previously been recognised by a major exhibition. Comprising works lent from prestigious private collections, the show reveals the considerable extent of his talent.

Fry was an artist who lived and worked near Bath for sixty years but who made pictures that expressed his principal inspiration of travel. His early work, dominated by dancing figures, reflects the landscape of Tuscany. From the late 1980s his painting is characterised by strong, intense colour, influenced by the landscapes and culture of India, Morocco and the Sahara Desert, and Andalucía.

Exhibition Supported by The Linbury Trust, The Monument Trust, Browse & Darby

Paint Partner: Farrow & Ball

Visit our beautiful exhibition between Saturday 24 March and Sunday 15 April and take advantage of our 2 tickets for £10 offer. To take advantage of the offer call 01225 388569 or purchase at the Holburne Museum. (Offer not available online)

Easter Eggstravaganza
Mar 25 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Easter Eggstravaganza @ The Holburne Museum

Whatever the weather, be transported to sunnier climes with fun and creative activities inspired by Anthony Fry’s vibrant, colourful paintings:

Eastern Eggs – decorate a polystyrene eggs with lovely colours and jewel-like decorations

Peacock Easter Baskets – make a special basket to keep your Eastern Egg in – it makes a change from chickens!

Moroccan Lanterns – make a beautiful Moroccan style paper lantern

Patterned Elephants – decorate an elephant picture with a range of fun collage and printing materials

No booking required.

Easter Eggstravaganza

Easter Art Camp (5-11 year old’s)
Mar 26 – Mar 29 all-day
Easter Art Camp (5-11 year old's) @ The Holburne Museum

Due to popular demand we are now offering four Art Camp weeks packed full of fun, creative activities inspired by the Museum’s collection and exhibitions and led by our experienced team of artists.


Booking Easter Art Camp is essential, you can book for THE WEEK or choose to book INDIVIDUAL DAYS

Booking is also available for :

Tuesday 3 – Friday 6 April 

Booking the night before or over the weekend for a Monday Art Camp?  Please read this Important Information about Holiday Art Camps   and complete and bring the Art Camp consent form 2018 .

To give you a flavour of what to expect on the day please see our  Easter Art Camp Daily Activities Schedule 

Art Education for the Many
Mar 29 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Art Education for the Many @ The Holburne Museum

Drawing upon the wealth of audio interviews recorded by the Artists’ Lives project with the artists who either taught or studied at the Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, between the 1950s and 1960s, this lecture situates Corsham against the context of a shifting post-war landscape of higher art education. The school’s redoubtable first Principal, Clifford Ellis, in collaboration with his equally formidable wife, Rosemary, sought to establish at Corsham ‘a more liberal form of art education than had been possible previously’. Such a vision of curricular breadth proposed a different model of education informed by their intellectual and social belief in art’s role within a general education. Drawing upon archival images, as well as the audio testimony of the protagonists themselves, this lecture argues for the Corsham’s progressive status in its leaders’ politicized belief that a reformed art educational system had the potential to transform society.
Dr Hester R. Westley is the Goodison Fellow at the National Life Stories archive housed at the British Library, where she interviews extensively for Artists’ Lives. Westley is a writer and curator with a particular interest in the history of twentieth-century art education.

£10/ Free to Holburne Contemporaries (includes entry to Anthony Fry (1927-2016) A Retrospective between 6-7pm on the night) Garden Café open 6-7pm



Robyn Denny Corsham 1961

Robyn Denny Corsham 1961

Made for the Table
Apr 13 – Jul 1 all-day
Made for the Table @ The Holburne Museum

A modern table setting featuring contemporary silver from the Goldsmiths’ Company Collection alongside other crafts, demonstrating how makers continue to be inspired to make beautiful objects for use. The exhibition explores the sensory experience of the table, from taste and flavour to light and display.