Abbot Hall Art Gallery

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

Open 16 Jan 2015 - 14 Feb 2016 (closed 24, 25, 26 Dec and 1 Jan)
Monday - Saturday 10.30am - 4pm (closing 5pm Mar - Oct)

Sundays during July, August and Canaletto exhibition (22 Oct -14 Feb 2016), 12 - 4pm

Admission charges

Adult £7 (without donation £6.35)
During the Canaletto exhibition Adult £9 (without donation £8.15)

Joint Gallery & Museum £9 (without donation £8.60)
During the Canaletto exhibition Adult £10 (without donation £9.50)

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.

The Great Picture Triptych, 1646

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

This monumental painting which is nearly 5 meters wide, presents the family history and accomplishments of Lady Anne Clifford using a combination of portraiture, text and symbolism.

The left panel of the triptych depicts Lady Anne Clifford at the age of fifteen, when she was disinherited. The inclusion of portraits and books highlight Lady Anne’s education and refined upbringing.

The central panel depicts Lady Anne’s parents, Margaret Russell and George Clifford, third Earl of Cumberland, with her older brothers who did not survive to adulthood. On the walls behind the family group hang portraits of Lady Anne’s four aunts. As Lady Anne was not born until 1590, she does not appear in the central panel as such, but Lady Margaret’s gesture hints that the daughter who would ultimately become the Clifford heir had already been conceived at the time of the original painting.

The right panel shows Lady Anne in late middle age, when she finally regained the Clifford estates. Portraits of Lady Anne’s two husbands hang behind her. The depiction of Lady Anne at fifty-six was used as the model for many subsequent portraits and is probably the only likeness in The Great Picture to have been painted from life.

The triptych is a composite work by a skilled copyist working from miniatures, portraits and whatever gowns and armour were still in Lady Anne’s possession. The piece has been attributed to Jan van Belcamp (1610-1653), a Dutch artist active in England who was a specialist in this genre.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.abbothall.org.uk/exhibitions/great-picture-triptych-1646

George Romney

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

On display in the Georgian interiors downstairs at Abbot Hall is a selection of works by George Romney (1734-1802), one of the greatest of all eighteenth-century portrait painters. Starting in the Dining Room, Romney’s early career in Kendal is described through paintings that show him developing his style and growing in confidence as an independent artist: from the beautiful colouration and awkward elegance of his early full length portraits, through to the experimental light effects of The Artist’s Brother James Holding a Candle (1761) and his grand Shakespearean ‘history’ painting, King Lear in the tempest tearing off his Robes (1762).

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.abbothall.org.uk/exhibitions/george-romney

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

Canaletto: Celebrating Britain

  • 22 October 2015 — 14 February 2016 *on now

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.

Admission

Admission to the gallery during the Canaletto exhibition is
Adult £9 (without donation £8.15)

Friends, Patrons & Benefactors FREE
Young people up to the age of 16 and full-time students over 16 FREE

National Art Pass 50% Discount

Website

http://www.abbothall.org.uk/exhibitions/canalettos-architecture-celebrating-georgian-britain

Laura Ford: Sculpture and Drawings

  • 11 March — 25 June 2016

Abbot Hall hosts an extraordinary exhibition of work by sculptor Laura Ford, comprising her earlier work together with new sculptures.

Born in 1961, Laura Ford’s imaginative creations explore aspects of the human condition. She describes her work as sculptures dressed as people who are dressed as animals, as they meld together ideas of childhood memory with a disturbing edge. Ford studied at Bath Academy of Art and Chelsea School of Art. She has exhibited at Strawberry Hill, Hayward Gallery and Serpentine Gallery as well as representing Wales at the Venice Biennale. She has work in major collections around the world including Tate, Museum of Modern Art, the Arts Council and the V&A.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.abbothall.org.uk/exhibitions/laura-ford-sculpture-and-drawings

Rembrandt, Self Portrait at the Age of 63

  • 19 March — 15 May 2016

Abbot Hall has been selected to take part in the National Gallery Masterpiece Tour, showing Rembrandt’s magnificent Self Portrait at the Age of 63.

This work was painted in the final year of Rembrandt's life and is one of his last pictures. Rembrandt painted more self portraits than any other artist of the 17th century. In this late picture, the artist wears a deep red coat and a beret, his hands clasped before him. The viewer is confronted by his steady gaze. Rembrandt painted and etched self portraits throughout his life, but those executed in his final years, in which he presents himself in a reflective mood, are among the most poignant and challenging.

The painting was cleaned in 1967, revealing the damaged signature and date. The X-ray of the picture reveals two pentimenti (alterations to the design). First, a change in the size and colour of the beret, which was originally much larger and all white. Secondly, the original position of the hands was open and he was holding a paintbrush. Repainting the hands clasped and without the brush reduces their dramatic impact and draws attention back to the face.

Admission

Normal admission charges apply

Website

https://www.abbothall.org.uk/exhibitions/rembrandt-self-portrait-age-63-0

Winifred Nicholson in Cumbria

  • 8 July — 15 October 2016

An exhibition exploring the creativity of Winifred Nicholson viewed through the paintings that she made in Cumbria, where she lived for large parts of her life.

The show includes over 40 paintings, many previously unseen from private collections, as well as some of her best loved paintings, and draws on new research, including previously unseen archival material. The exhibition is divided broadly into three sections: Bankshead in the 1920s and 1930s, Boothby and the Lake District post war, and Bankshead again for the last two decades of her life.

Admission

Normal admission charges apply

Website

http://www.abbothall.org.uk/exhibitions/winifred-nicholson-cumbria

People on Paper

  • 29 October — 17 December 2016

Artists have been drawing the figure for centuries, from carefully composed life drawings to people caught unaware at leisure or work.

This exhibition brings together some of the finest examples from the Arts Council Collection: Charles Avery, Frank Auerbach, Martin Bloch, Peter Blake, John Braby, John Craxton, Peter de Francia, Lucian Freud, Antony Gormley, Alistair Gray, Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin, Gwen John, Leon Kossoff, Richard Hamilton, L S Lowry, Henry Moore, Eduardo Paolozzi, William Roberts, William Scott, Walter Sickert, Stanley Spencer and Euan Uglow.

Admission

Normal admission charges apply

Website

http://www.abbothall.org.uk/exhibitions/people-paper

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Charlotte Turner Smith

Lecture: Great Lives Talk - Charlotte Turner Smith

  • 18 February 2016 4-6pm

The first in this series of talks about the great lives behind some of the works of art in Abbot Hall's permanent collection, Professor Jacqueline Labbe will talk about the extraordinary life of Charlotte Turner Smith. The beautiful pastel drawing of Charlotte Turner Smith by George Romney is on permanent display in the saloon.

Professor Jacqueline Labbe is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and Chair of Romantic-Period Literature, School of English at the University of Sheffield. She is also the author of four monographs, the editor of several collections of essays, and has published widely on the poetry of the central Romantic writer, Charlotte Smith (1749-1806), and her interactions with other key figures such as William Wordsworth and Jane Austen.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£10/£8 Friends. Booking essential.

Website

http://www.abbothall.org.uk/event/lecture-great-lives-talk-charlotte-turner-smith

Five friends

Five Friends

  • 16 April 2016 11am-4pm

Inspired by historic paintings and contemporary sculpture on display at Abbot Hall, this session will enable children to create five finger puppets - a cast of characters that tell stories.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3 per child, normal admission for adults
Drop in session, no booking required

Website

http://www.abbothall.org.uk/event/family-activity-five-friends

Rembrandt, Self Portrait at the Age of 63

Rembrandt, Self Portrait at the Age of 63

  • 12 May 2016 6-7:30pm

As part of a series of lectures, Dr Allison Goudie from the National Gallery will explore Rembrandt’s Self Portrait at the Age of 63 and consider why self portraiture played such an important role in Rembrandt’s career.

This work was painted in the final year of Rembrandt's life and is one of his last pictures. Rembrandt painted more self portraits than any other artist of the 17th century. In this late picture, the artist wears a deep red coat and a beret, his hands clasped before him. The viewer is confronted by his steady gaze. Rembrandt painted and etched self portraits throughout his life, but those executed in his final years, in which he presents himself in a reflective mood, are among the most poignant and challenging.

The painting was cleaned in 1967, revealing the damaged signature and date. The X-ray of the picture reveals two pentimenti (alterations to the design). First, a change in the size and colour of the beret, which was originally much larger and all white. Secondly, the original position of the hands was open and he was holding a paintbrush. Repainting the hands clasped and without the brush reduces their dramatic impact and draws attention back to the face.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£10/£8 Friends, includes a glass of wine
Booking essential

Website

http://www.abbothall.org.uk/event/lecture-rembrandt

Shadows and silhouettes

Shadows and Silhouettes

  • 14 May 2016 11am-4pm

Join our artist in residence for a creative day inspired by the sculptures in the gallery.

Laura Ford’s sculptures are imaginative creations. She describes her work as sculptures dressed as people who are dressed as animals, as they meld together ideas of childhood memory with a disturbing edge.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3 per child. Normal admission for adults
Drop in session, no booking required

Website

http://www.abbothall.org.uk/event/family-activity-shadows-and-silhouettes

Drawing in the gallery

Being Human

  • 28 May 2016 11am-4pm

The Laura Ford sculptures will be joined by a live model and the artist Catherine MacDiarmid for a workshop which explores gestures, movements and expressions possible within the human form and how these can be communicated in drawing. Participants will draw in the gallery using a range of dry media, followed by a sustained observational study of the human head using both paint and drawing media.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£20/£16 Friends, includes admission to the Gallery and materials
Booking essential

Website

http://www.abbothall.org.uk/event/workshop-being-human

Abbot Hall Art Gallery
Abbot Hall
Kendal
Cumbria
LA9 5AL
England

Website

www.abbothall.org.uk

www.lakelandartstrust.org.uk

E-mail

info@abbothall.org.uk

Telephone

01539 722464

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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