Gallery Closure

Brownsword Gallery Closing for Essential Works
Wednesday 25 March to Saturday 25 April

We very much regret that the Brownsword Picture Gallery will be closed throughout the Easter period for essential works.

When Sir Reginald Blomfield converted the Sydney Hotel’s attic storey in 1913-16, he introduced three beautiful lanterns into the roof to create a top-lit picture gallery. With their slender glazing bars and elaborate plaster garlands, the roof lights are part of twentieth-century Blomfield’s response to Bath’s eighteenth-century ‘Age of Elegance’.

These lanterns are a great enhancement to the gallery interior, but they allow light to stream into the room. We are all familiar with the effects of sunlight on our skin, and over time it can be equally damaging to historic works of art. It is therefore essential that we preserve the Holburne’s paintings and furniture by screening the light from the sky effectively. The amount of screening required varies with changes in the weather and seasons, so we are installing blinds that are controlled by electronic sensors. They will also provide an effective black-out facility for lectures.

There will be a considerable amount of re-plastering and redecoration, and our contractors have advised that project will take four weeks. To carry out this work safely and quickly, we have no option but to close the gallery to visitors and remove the collection to our secure stores.

While the gallery is closed, you will be able to browse the contents of the gallery online by visiting Don’t forget that there will still be three permanent galleries for you to explore at this time, as well as three exciting temporary exhibitions.

Please do come back in late April or May to see the rehung collection and to enjoy the paintings in a fresh new light.