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.

Modern Masters at Abbot Hall

  • 1 January 2015 — 26 September 2016 *on now

Featuring a selection of modern masterpieces from Abbot Hall’s extensive collection, this will be a rare chance to see Paula Rego’s major political work, Triptych, as well as important paintings by Frank Auerbach, LS Lowry and other modern and contemporary masters.

Suitable for


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

New Acquisition: The Aegean Suite by Barbara Hepworth

  • 27 March — 12 July 2015 *on now

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 *on now

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.


Installation: Face Forward

  • 1 May — 13 June 2015 *on now

Abbot Hall Art Gallery has itself been turned into a display. Come and see how the many faces of Kendal have given the gallery a different outlook! Can you spot any familiar faces?

Face Forward is an installation of photographs taken by Kendal College photography students of visitors to Abbot Hall Art Gallery on one Saturday in February this year. It took place as the gallery looked forward to the Face Value: Portraiture from the Arts Council Collection.

The students set up a temporary photography studio in the Dining Room, bringing different coloured backdrops and props. They took a playful approach to portrait photography, encouraging participants to have fun whilst engaging with the photographer, communicating their personality and essentially being themselves. They generated a wonderful atmosphere throughout the day, taking time to make real connections with our visitors and putting them at ease. The result is a vibrant feast of colourful images, some full of humour, others more thoughtful and reflective, that light up the windows of the gallery. The wide range of ages represented also celebrates the sense that the gallery can be enjoyed by everyone!

Suitable for


The Watercolour Gallery

  • 6 May 2015 — 6 May 2018 *on now

See JMW Turner’s monumental The Passage of Mount St Gothard, one of the artist’s grandest and most celebrated Alpine views and a jewel in Abbot Hall’s extensive collection of eighteenth and nineteenth-century watercolours. Accompanying Turner will be other masters of the medium, including John Sell Cotman, John Ruskin and Joseph Wright of Derby.

Suitable for


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


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.
Crawl at the Hall

Crawl at the Hall

  • 29 May 2015 From 10:30am
  • 5 June 2015 From 10:30am
  • 12 June 2015 From 10:30am
  • 19 June 2015 From 10:30am
  • 26 June 2015 From 10:30am
  • 3 July 2015 From 10:30am
  • 10 July 2015 From 10:30am
  • 17 July 2015 From 10:30am

Our weekly event for the under fives is inspired by the exhibitions. Artists Hannah Fox and Rachel Kelly, lead fun and exciting sessions involving a range of processes including drawing, making, storytelling and role play. These are memorable moments, enjoyed and shared between adults and children.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6


Children are free, £3.00 per session per each accompanying adult. Booking is essential as places are limited.


people living with dementia and their carers.

Every First Tuesday

  • 2 June 2015 From 2pm
  • 7 July 2015 From 2pm
  • 4 August 2015 From 2pm
  • 1 September 2015 From 2pm
  • 6 October 2015 From 2pm
  • 3 November 2015 From 2pm

Part of Lakeland Arts’ programme of activities and events designed to engage people living with dementia and their carers. Sessions are informal and social, stimulate lively discussion, generate creative ideas and enhance well being.

Begins with a tea or coffee and then time is spent in the gallery or museum.

Suitable for

  • 18+


£5 per session. Adults in support roles will not be charged. Booking is essential. Make your booking by telephoning the gallery, 01539 722464, to discuss specific needs and address any issues around mobility and access to the buildings.


Abbot Hall Art Gallery
Abbot Hall




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.