Set in the beautiful grounds of the Temple Gardens, the Gallery houses an exquisite collection of Fine and Decorative arts. James Ward Usher (1845-1921) was a successful entrepreneur and a devoted collector of decorative art.
He gained esteem and prestige through his local jewellery and watch making business, and was honoured with the position of Sheriff of Lincoln in 1916. He died aged 76, and bequeathed his outstanding collection of artworks to the city of Lincoln. The Usher Gallery was completed five years later, an imposing classically inspired building designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield R.A., and was formally opened with a solid gold key by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales on the 25th May 1927.
The permanent collection is supplemented by generous loans and exchanges with other museums and private collections. There is also an exciting programme of temporary exhibitions ensuring today's visitors an experience that will appeal to a diversity of interests and tastes. Visitors to the gallery are welcome to stroll or picnic in the Temple Gardens, browse in the shop or relax in the café. The friendly and helpful staff are looking forward to meeting you and hope you will enjoy your visit to the Usher Gallery.
Gallery, Historic house or home, Garden, parklands or rural site
Monday - Sunday 10am - 5pm
Last admission 4.30pm
Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Eve and New Year's Day
Car parking at Broadgate and Flaxengate Pay and Display car parks
Disabled Parking (Via Danesgate)
The Usher Gallery runs a full educational programme for schools and has developed sessions that complement classroom teaching not only in Art but across the whole curriculum. Teachers are supported through a visit planning service, provision of resources and delivery of sessions by Gallery staff.
There is also a regular termly open evening for teachers in the Gallery. Regular art workshops for children aged 5-11 years are also held on Saturdays throughout term-time and on weekdays during half-term and longer school holidays. These workshops are run by practising artists who work in a variety of media with the children to develop their creative skills.
The Usher Gallery also welcomes groups of both children and adults with special needs and will help devise a visit that is appropriate to your specific requirements. This may include an object handling session - a collection of authentic artefacts is available for handling by both school and special needs groups. Very young children have their own 'Yellow Box Activities' to help them have fun when they visit the Gallery with their parents and a Junior Guide is available for the 7-12 year-olds.
The original Usher bequest of clocks and watches, porcelain, silver, enamels, miniatures and coins remains the core of the Usher Gallery's permanent collection, with a selection of pieces still displayed in the original cases. However, the collection has expanded and continues to grow, encompassing a wide range of Fine and Decorative Art, from Neo-Classical sculpture to contemporary portraiture and crafts.
The Fine art collections feature paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture dating from the 16th Century to the present day. Artists and subjects associated with the historic county of Lincolnshire are afforded a particular focus. Significant 19th Century Lincolnshire born artists include Frank Bramley, William Logsdail, C.H. Shannon and William Warrener. A leading practitioner in watercolour, Peter de Wint, became closely connected to Lincoln by marriage, and the Gallery holds the most comprehensive national collection of his drawings, paintings, prints and artefacts. Portraits are a special feature of the collection and range from the magnificent painting of Sir Joseph Banks by Benjamin West to the recently acquired selection of contemporary women self-portraits. Landscape and still life are also well represented, with noteworthy examples by George Clausen, Ivon Hitchens, Vanessa Bell, Leon Underwood and Anne Redpath.
Tennyson Collection: A collection of portraits, photographs and personal items associated with the Lincolnshire born poet Laureate Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) is currently on long-term loan from the Tennyson Research Centre. Various items are on display including the poet's distinctive cloak, hat and walking sticks, and a drawing of the Tennyson family home by Edward Lear.
Archaeology, Architecture, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Film and Media, Fine Art, Literature, Personalities, Social History, Weapons and War
Key artists and exhibits
- J.M.W. Turner
- Thomas Girtin
- John Piper
- L.S. Lowry
- Frank Bramley
- William Logsdail
- C.H. Shannon
- William Warrener
- Peter de Wint
- William Billingsley
- Benjamin West
- George Clausen
- Ivon Hitchens
- Vanessa Bell
- Duncan Grant
- Leon Underwood
- Anne Redpath
- Barbara Walker
- Susan Wilson
- Lord Alfred Tennyson
- Craigie Aitchison
- Simone ten Hompel
- Edward Lear