Abbot Hall Art Gallery

Abbot Hall Art Gallery
Abbot Hall




01539 722464


01539 722494

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inside Abot Hall Art Gallery
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Abbot Hall's fine collection of 18th, 19th and 20th Century art is set within an elegant Georgian Villa. The permanent collection is complimented by a programme of critically acclaimed changing exhibitions. Abbot Hall's Coffee House also boasts an appetising menu of locally produced food, which is freshly prepared.

Venue Type:

Gallery, Historic house or home

Opening hours

17 January - 20 December 2014
Mon - Sat 10.30 - 17.00 (Closing 16.00 Nov-Feb). Open Sundays throughout July and August, 12.00-16.00.

Admission charges

Adults £7/£6.35, Children and Students FREE

Collection details

Archives, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Music, Personalities, Social History

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Edward Wilson

Reframing the Landscape

  • 16 January — 15 March 2015 *on now

This display of works from the Lakeland Arts collections creates a link space between the Boyle Family: Contemporary Archaeology and Memorius Earth: A Longitudinal Study exhibitions and focuses on artists who, like Boyle Family, Richard Skelton and Autumn Richardson, reject the traditional ‘picturesque’ framing of the landscape in favour of a scientific, research-based, or psychological approach to their environment.

Whether it be John Ruskin’s brilliantly intricate study of a rock in Chamouni: Rocks and Vegetation (1854) with its focus on texture (not dissimilar from one of Boyle Family’s earth studies), Hughie O’ Donoghue’s psychologically-charged A Moment’s Liberty I (2012) or explorer Edward Wilson’s beautifully-rendered watercolours of the Antarctic, whose proportions Captain Scott tested ‘by actual angular measurement and found them correct’, these works reorient our perception of the landscape.


Normal admission charges apply


WG Collingwood, A Winter Rainbow, Coniston Fells, 1929

WG Collingwood

  • 16 January — 2 May 2015 *on now

The son of a watercolour artist, William Gershom Collingwood (1854-1932) studied at University College, Oxford where he met John Ruskin, whose secretary he later became and with whom he shared a wide range of interests. Collingwood travelled extensively, sketching as he went, and after studying at the Slade School of Art, moved to the Lake District where he wrote extensively about the Lakes, Icelandic sagas and Norse mythology, as well as publishing a biography on Ruskin in 1893. He was an accomplished artist, founding the Lake Artists Society in 1904 and serving as Professor of Fine Art at the University of Reading from 1907-11.

This display presents a small sample of the hundreds of watercolours by Collingwood that Lakeland Arts holds in its collection. The majority of these were given, and later bequeathed, by Collingwood’s granddaughter, Janet Gnosspelius, and give a taste of the many accomplishments of this incredibly gifted man, whose paintings, writings and research continue to influence and inspire today.


Normal admission charges apply


Deer’s skull, Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry collection, 2014.

Memorious Earth: A Longitudinal Study Richard Skelton and Autumn Richardson

  • 16 January — 14 March 2015 *on now

Over the past half-decade, Autumn Richardson and Richard Skelton have carved out a wholly self-directed and independent niche as artists, releasing pamphlets, books, CDs and editions through their own publishing house, Corbel Stone Press. Operating at the crossover of art, music and literature, the couple have created a deeply engaging and genuinely innovative body of work that draws together these seemingly disparate disciplines.

Their work is ‘informed’ rather than ‘inspired’ by landscape. It is not impressionistic, but the result of extensive research into specific places, topographies, ecologies and histories. Pages from their book-works frequently spill with word-lists drawn from varied sources: pollen diagrams, dialect glossaries, cartographic records, archaeological tracts - but their repurposing of this material as art is deeply humane, aimed at drawing the attention towards the lost, forgotten or overlooked; it celebrates the poetry and beauty that such attention can reveal, and gently urges each of us towards a more intimate relationship with our natural surroundings.


Normal admission charges apply


Boyle Family, Study of Rusting Metal Plate, 2001/2. Mixed media, resin and fibreglass

Boyle Family: Contemporary Archaeology

  • 16 January — 14 March 2015 *on now

Boyle Family have beguiled viewers with their contemporary explorations of the world around us ever since Mark Boyle and Joan Hills, and later their children, Sebastian and Georgia, started collaborating in the 1960s, seeking to present their interpretation of the environment as truthfully and objectively as possible.

This exhibition comprises a selection of their astonishing earth studies: facsimiles of the ground taken from randomly chosen points in the world that resemble slices of the landscape fixed to the gallery walls.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Normal admission charges apply


Barbara Hepworth, Itea (detail), 1971, from The Aegean Suite.

New Acquisition: The Aegean Suite by Barbara Hepworth

  • 27 March — 12 July 2015

This fascinating group of prints was kindly gifted to Lakeland Arts by the Hepworth Estate following Abbot Hall’s hugely successful 2014 exhibition, Barbara Hepworth: Within the Landscape.

Inspired by her trip to Greece in 1954 with friend and patron, Margaret Gardiner, Hepworth created The Aegean Suite in 1971 and infused the works with references to Greek culture and the Greek landscape.

This is also an opportunity to view two of Hepworth’s sculptures from our collection, Moon Form, 1968 and Torso III (Galatea), 1958.


Normal admission charges apply


Mark Gertler, Self Portrait, 1920

Face Value: Portraiture from the Arts Council Collection

  • 27 March — 13 June 2015

Showing works by around 30 artists, working over the last century. Included is Tracey Emin’s early autobiographical video work Why I Never Became a Dancer.

Self-portraits by other artists are also examined, including works by Sarah Lucas, Maud Sulter and Rodney Donald that challenge conventional stereotypes, contrasted with more traditional self-portraits by earlier artists such as David Bomberg and Mark Gertler.

Other themes explored in the exhibition include looking at ways portraits can, by concentrating on a specific aspect of the sitter’s life - such as Vanessa Bell’s The Cook, Bernard Meninsky’s Portrait of a Girl and William Roberts’ A Gypsy Girl - remove an important part of their individual identity. Portraiture can deceive and can be used both to assert and to deny identity.


Normal admission charges apply.


Terry Frost, Straw and Purple Visage, 1958

Taking Flight: St Ives in the 1950s

  • 26 June — 3 October 2015

Abbot Hall’s main summer exhibition, looks in depth at five key artists – Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton, Peter Lanyon and Bryan Wynter - who were active in St Ives in the 1950s, showing how their art developed from constructivism to abstraction.

The exhibition of St Ives’ ”Middle Generation” includes several works acquired in the very early days of Abbot Hall’s own collection, as well as important loans from public and private collections.


Normal admission charges apply


Canaletto, London: The Thames from Somerset House Terrace towards the City

Canaletto's Architecture: Celebrating Georgian Britain

  • 22 October 2015 — 14 February 2016

Canaletto’s Architecture: Celebrating Georgian Britain examines the artist’s nearly 10 year stay in England from 1746.

As well as showing works created during that time, the exhibition also shows the extreme contrast between Canaletto’s depiction of the Palladian architecture of his native Venice – including typical views of Palladio’s Redentore and San Giorgio Maggiore – with the works he created in England.


Normal admission charges apply