Warrington Museum & Art Gallery
One of the oldest local museums in the country, Warrington Museum & Art Gallery recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. Much of the quintessential character of the building has been preserved and its original glass cabinets are crammed with treasures from all around the world. Located above the central library, the purpose of the Museum & Art Gallery is to inspire, challenge, stimulate and entertain its visitors and to encourage learning in all its forms.
Part of Culture Warrington - a charitable cultural trust which also operates Pyramid arts centre and the Parr Hall theatre - Warrington Museum & Art Gallery offers both leisure and life-long learning opportunities for all individuals.
Galleries feature a wealth of material on the natural world including child-friendly hands-on activities and the town's very own dinosaur. Also popular are the local and social history galleries featuring new displays on the industries that shaped the town and a fascinating 'Time Tunnel' complete with hands on history activities for younger visitors.
Warrington's excellent art collections, including work by internationally famous artists, are displayed throughout the building.
Warrington Museum's most popular exhibits however have to be the beautifully decorated Egyptian sarcophagus and Egyptian mummy.
The art gallery exhibitions provide an exciting range of temporary exhibitions. Past shows have featured work by Tracy Emin, Damien Hurst and Sam Taylor-Wood. The temporary exhibitions regularly feature local groups and work with local artists with the programme changing every 4 months. Further temporary exhibitions are available at Pyramid arts centre just a 2 minute walk down the road.
Mon-Fri 10.00 - 16.30
Sat 10.00 - 16.00
Christmas Day Boxing Day
New Year's Day
Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Industry, Land Transport, Law and Order, Maritime, Medicine, Music, Natural Sciences, Personalities, Science and Technology, Social History, Weapons and War, World Cultures
The Cabinet of Curiosities
- 25 January 2014 — 30 December 2019 *on now
January 25th 2014 saw the long awaited public opening of Warrington Museum’s Cabinet of Curiosities Gallery. The Museum began working on the Cabinet of Curiosities project back in 2007 when we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the opening of the building. It was a key moment to raise the profile of one of the earliest public museums in the country and crucially to refocus it for the 21st Century.
This exciting project is all thanks to a grant of £672, 500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to turn Warrington Museum’s Gallery 7 (the old Bird Room) into an exciting new space to showcase some of the bizarre and wonderful items in the Museum’s collections and involve local people in creating the new displays.
Under the guidance of leading conservation architects Buttress Fuller Alsop Williams the main contractors Conlon have transformed the space with much hard work behind the scenes from Museum staff but with minimum disruption to the public. Museum staff have faced a race against time in the last four months to fill the high specification display cases installed by Meyvaert who have worked on major projects such as the historic Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
Behind the scenes the museum team were busy making the final selection of objects for the new displays to create the atmosphere of a traditional Cabinet of Curiosities
Over 80 colourful birds and other taxidermy items have been primped and preened by specialist natural history conservators ready for their starring role. They are displayed alongside old favourites such as the Woolston seal and more exotic creatures like the giant anteater in a new interpretation of the old gallery’s menagerie.
See http://www.culture24.org.uk/science-and-nature/science-history/art466342 for more information
- Any age
- 22 March — 1 July 2017 *on now
Featuring spring themed objects from the collection, this small display also features excerpts from the notebooks of Linnaeus Greening, one of Warrington’s most famous naturalists, as well as photographs and memoirs of the local Natural History Society.
- Any age
- 29 April — 1 July 2017 *on now
In conjunction with the exciting ‘Hollywood comes to the Libraries’ photographic and cinema project being held across the borough, this small display explores the twin themes of cinema and crime in Warrington during the Film Noir period of the 1940s and 1950s.
Louise Giovanelli: A throw to the side
- 6 May — 15 July 2017 *on now
Featured as “one to watch” by Saatchi Art, Louise Giovanelli is an emerging artist whose haunting yet beautiful work is an examination of the sensorial possibilities of paint. Over the past 3-4 years Giovanelli’s practice in the broadest sense has examined alternative ways of looking and perceiving within the rich tradition of painting. Her interest in historic paintings is longstanding but recent trips to international collections have suggested new ways of working with them.
This exhibition will display a new body of work by Giovanelli inspired by the permanent collection of Warrington Museum & Art Gallery.
Using the collection as a site for speculation and play has provided Giovanelli with source material that she has then reconsidered and reconfigured through paint, extracting new content and suggesting alternative narratives. Giovanelli’s starting point for this exhibition is the work of John Warrington Wood – a sculptor of mythological and biblical subjects with an interesting connection to both Warrington and Rome. Giovanelli has reflected upon and considered not only the pieces of his held within Warrington and the museum itself, but his wider reach and legacy and how these can be connected to her recent investigations into the relationships between painting, sculpture and architecture.
Louise Giovanelli is represented by The International 3 and is supported by Martyn & Valerie Torevell.
- Any age
- 20 May — 16 September 2017 *on now
The world’s fiercest animals have been spotted on the prowl in Warrington!
Explore Dr Herringbone’s Predatorium in a new exhibition at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, featuring specially-selected artefacts, taxidermy and artwork from the museum’s collection.
This family-friendly display will give visitors a chance to discover interesting and unusual facts about nature’s top hunters in a new and refreshing way. From the guts and gore of the hunt to the grossness of animal dung, Predators promises to fascinate old and young alike.
- Any age
Borough Charter Display
- 25 May — 2 September 2017 *on now
In 1847 Queen Victoria granted Warrington a Charter, formally making it a borough, and in that year our modern town was born. To celebrate the 170th anniversary of this important event there will be a rare opportunity to see the original document.
- Any age
Royal Photographic Society Biennial Members’ Exhibition
- 24 June — 5 August 2017 *on now
From digital to analogue, including alternative processes, phone photography and scientific work, this touring exhibition showcases the broad spectrum of photographic practice focussing exclusively on the creative community of members that are central to The Royal Photography Society. The exhibition also includes work from several of The Society’s Honorary Fellows, some of the most respected names in photography today.
Gold Award: Michael Durham FRPS (Dumfries, Scotland), Predator and Prey.
Silver Award: Martin Castellan (Leran, France), Gascon Cattle climb the Pyrenees.
Bronze Award: Paul Mann ARPS (Worcester, England), Krafla Power Station.
Selection Panel:Ben Brain ARPS, Award winning journalist and photographer, Editor Digital Camera Magazine
Tony Bramley FRPS, professional wedding and portrait photographer, awarded Fellowship of the Year 2016
Maria Falconer FRPS, professional photographer (specialising in performance photography) and Visiting Lecturer at De Montfort University
Andre du Plessis FRPS, Social Documentary photographer
Steve Smith FRPS, Social Documentary and Street photographerWorld renowned American Photographer Joe McNally FRPS, selected the Gold, Silver and Bronze award winning images.
- Any age
Beer, Breweries and the Band of Hope
- 8 July — 2 September 2017
Brewing is one of the oldest trades in existence and by the Middle Ages every town including Warrington had brewers working on a commercial scale.
This display commemorates the 150th anniversary of one of the longest established breweries, Burtonwood Brewery, as well as focussing on the local Temperance movement which grew in response to the number of breweries in the town and concerns over drunkenness and rowdy behaviour that may develop from excessive drinking.
The display also features testimonies from people today who have struggled with alcohol addiction or have ongoing alcohol issues. Issues such as safe drinking limits are explored, with literature available from charities and organisations that help people who have alcohol related problems.
- 29 July — 2 September 2017
As the winner of the Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival Open 2016, Bex Ilsley will present a new body of work which explores the performance of the self, particularly in the digital realm. Ilsley combines a variety of fabricated and appropriated objects, props and locations to construct surreal, sci-fi portraits and video works; primarily disseminated via social media and her website.
Distributing images, particularly of women online, provokes questions around the ethics and intentions involved. Ilsley acknowledges this tension but ultimately enjoys the autonomy of creating her own self-image on these digital platforms, seeing the potential for them to be more or less honest, artificial or authentic; they may also travel further and live on longer than Ilsley herself.
- Family friendly
Warrington Art Treasures 2017-2018
- 16 September 2017 — 21 April 2018
This is the first of three special exhibitions celebrating special events in the history of Warrington Museum and especially the opening of main Art Gallery in October 1877.
From its creation in 1848 Warrington Museum has amassed significant collections including works by prominent local Victorian artists who acquired a national reputation as regular exhibitors at the Royal Academy.
From late 2017 through 2018 Warrington Art Treasures are showcased in a series of exhibitions marking a joint celebration of RA 250 and landmarks in the creation of the oldest public museum in the North-West of England which was also home to the Warrington School of Art from 1857. Sir Samuel Luke Fildes, its most famous pupil, progressed from illustrating for Dickens and the Graphic Magazine, to leading social-realist artist, confidant of Millais and Lord Leighton, to society portrait painter and respected Royal Academician. His brother-in-law, Henry Woods’ Venetian genre paintings were a regular highlight of Royal Academy exhibitions and also feature in many public collections. Meanwhile local sculptor John Warrington Wood was a prominent member of the Roman arts scene and was honoured by the creation of the museum’s Art Gallery in 1877 to house a specially commissioned work.
Also featured are works by local artists Edward Frederick Brewtnall, alongside works by other Royal Academy exhibitors, including Walter Langley and Frank Brangwyn.
- Any age
Masonic Tercentenary Display
- 23 September 2017 — 6 January 2018
Freemasonry is the oldest secular organisation in Warrington, with the distinction of having the very first recorded meeting of English Freemasons in October 1646.
The first Masonic Grand Lodge was formed by four London Lodges meeting together in St Paul’s Churchyard London on 24th June 1717. This is the Premier Grand Lodge of the international organisation and one of the largest Charities in the UK.
This display will explore how Freemasons influenced the development of Warrington, from the Old Academy, to Warrington Museum, from the Victoria Bridge to the Parr Hall.
On display will be a late 18th century Masonic apron alongside modern Masonic regalia, Masonic jewels, books and documents.
- Any age
WCAF17 Open Exhibition
- 29 September — 28 October 2017
The seventh Warrington Contemporary Open exhibition celebrates the talents of local contemporary artists, whether professional, amateur or student.
Details on how to enter and this year’s guest judges will be announced on the Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival website in August 2017. To ensure you don’t miss the announcement sign up to the WCAF mailing list.
Warrington Museum & Art Gallery
Warrington Museum & Art Gallery Website
Warrington Museum & Art Gallery