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October 2018 – February 2019

Gainsborough and the Theatre
Oct 5 – Jan 20 all-day
Gainsborough and the Theatre

By bringing together some of Thomas Gainsborough’s finest portraits of his friends in the theatre, this exhibition will create a conversation between the leading actors, managers, musicians, playwrights, designers, dancers and critics of the 1760s-80s.  Gainsborough & the Theatre explores themes of celebrity, naturalism, performance and friendship through some of the most touching likenesses by ‘the most faithful disciple of Nature that ever painted’.

Bringing together some of Gainsborough’s finest portraits of leading actors, managers, musicians, playwrights, designers, dancers and critics of the 1760s-80s, this exhibition will explore themes of celebrity, naturalism, performance and friendship.

Gainsborough and the Theatre will include 37 objects, including 15 oil portraits by Gainsborough, works on paper (including satires, views of theatres and playbills) and ephemera from public and private collections across the UK.

Following the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, theatre became an increasingly popular pastime, with existing playhouses enlarged and others newly commissioned throughout London and the provinces – particularly in Bath, where the Holburne Museum is located. In 1759, 32-year old Gainsborough arrived in Bath, accompanied by his wife and two daughters. Having already garnered a reputation as a skilled portraitist, he soon found a keen clientele among Bath’s fashionable (and well-off) visitors.

Gainsborough’s arrival in the West Country coincided with the rising wealth and social status of leading actors, such as James Quin and David Garrick, both of whom he painted. His friendship with the pair opened more doors for him, both in Bath and then later in London. The two actors also enabled Gainsborough to explore naturalism in portraiture, just as they and their contemporaries were turning to less artificial forms of performance in theatre, music and dance.

A Shakespeare Masterclass with Mark McGann
An engaging lunchtime talk with Susan Sloman
Portrait drawing with Saied Dai
A Very Georgian Soiree

There’s an admission charge to visit the Holburne’s collection, displays and exhibitions on the first and second floor galleries.
£12.50 / £7 (includes donation)

Principal Exhibition Sponsor
Bath Spa University

Supported by:
Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel

Supported by a Publications Grant from the
Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

Paint Partner
Farrow and Ball

Rodin rethinking the fragment
Nov 2 – Jan 27 all-day
Rodin rethinking the fragment @ The Holburne Museum

Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) was a collector and lover of the antique, and his sculpture was influenced by his admiration for classical art. Alongside works from the British Museum and the Holburne’s own collection, this display will show The Thinker alongside historic works to reveal the importance of the fragment in creating Rodin’s modern sculptures.

A British Museum Partnership Spotlight Loan.

Don’t Miss our related events:
Rendez-vous with Rodin Curators’ Talks 3 November
Poetry Workshop with Philip Gross 17 November
Sculpting the Body workshop with Sue Larner 19 January 2019

 Auguste Rodin, The Thinker, 1880-81, The Burrell Collection © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

Auguste Rodin, The Thinker, 1880-81, The Burrell Collection © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

Visiting Masterpiece by Hockney
Nov 2 – Jan 27 all-day
Visiting Masterpiece by Hockney @ The Holburne Museum

One of the nation’s most loved paintings, Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy is also one of the great portraits of British art. The image speaks powerfully to the eighteenth-century conversation pieces in the Holburne’s own collection as well as to the portraits of singers, dancers and actors in Gainsborough & the Theatre.

Related events:
A lunchtime talk with the Holburne’s Director, Chris Stephens, exploring portraiture in Hockney’s career.
A screening of A Bigger Splash, the ground-breaking biopic of Hockney’s career.

Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy

Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy

Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy
Jan 23 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy  @ The Holburne Museum | England | United Kingdom
Advance Booking Recommended

Back by popular demand! Holburne Director, Chris Stephens will be delivering his recent sold-out talk on David Hockney in the last week of the painting’s display at the Museum.

Holburne Director Chris Stephens, co-curator of last year’s record-breaking Hockney retrospective at Tate, will discuss the visiting masterpiece Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy by Hockney in relation to the rest of the artist’s career and to its position in the history of portraiture.

Why Museums Matter
Feb 7 – May 19 all-day
Why Museums Matter @ The Holburne Museum | England | United Kingdom

On the Ballroom table 7 February to 19 May
We invited visitors and people in our local community to complete the statement ‘Museums matter to me because…’ as a way of understanding what people value about museums and how the role of museums is understood in contemporary society. This exciting installation is a visual response to over 1,000 ideas and comments shared with us.

In the Wirth Gallery 7 February to 22 April
Celebrating the role of museums as places of creative inspiration and our Pathways to Wellbeing programme this display showcases the artwork of people who have engaged with individual objects from the Holburne’s collection. It examines the connection between museums, creativity, mental health and wellbeing. Each piece will reveal a personal connection, exploring how individual objects and opportunities to learn new art skills can inspire creative journeys.
For more information about Pathways to Wellbeing please visit Pathways to Wellbeing

Don’t miss related events:
In Conversation Tristram Hunt, Sonia Boyce and Chris Stephens
Symposium Why Museums Matter for Mental Health

George Shaw
Feb 8 – May 6 all-day
George Shaw @ The Holburne Museum | England | United Kingdom

The Holburne is the only European venue for Shaw’s major retrospective at the Yale Center for British Art. It covers his career from 1996 to the present, including some new works never shown in the UK. Shaw’s paintings, made with enamel model paint, focus on the Tile Hill estate, a post-war development on the outskirts of Coventry where he grew up, and the ancient woods surrounding it. Steeped in modern and historic fine art traditions, Shaw’s work alludes to twentieth-century painting and photography, and the legacy of such European masters as Titian. The exhibition also features his skills as a draughtsman.

General Admission £12.50 | Concessions

Scenes from the Passion: The Blossomiest Blossom, British Council CollectionGeorge Shaw Someone Else's House, Anthony Wilkinson Gallery, LondonGeorge Shaw Scenes from the Passion: The Fall, 1999, Private Collection