Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery

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Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery is housed in a beautiful 'Arts and Crafts' style building in the town centre, near the Town Hall and cinema. It opened in 1874 originally as both a museum and a library, and now offers a lively programme of exhibitions and events for all the family.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

Tuesday to Saturday: 10am to 4.45pm

Closed Sun, Mon and all Bank Holidays

Admission charges

admission free

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


  • 11 September — 5 December 2015

Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery is delighted to be presenting an exhibition of Ed Ruscha works from the ARTIST ROOMS collection. Ed Ruscha & the Urban Experience will be a place to explore, discuss and debate the urban architecture of Ed Ruscha’s images and that of Blackburn. The exhibition will examine connections between the contemporary urban experience and the history of the town and its museum’s collections.

Working closely with Blackburn College foundation and first year photography students the exhibition will be a catalyst for exploring our own urban experience. Alongside this will be a programme of creative writing, print-making and word art developed with local schools and Blackburn YouthZone.


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.
Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days: Festival of Making

  • 12 September 2015

The Festival of Making is a one day event in Blackburn, on Saturday 12 September, that is themed around 'Making History'. There will be plenty of activities to do and see, including 'making' workshops in our very own handmade festival pavilion, large outdoor artwork installations, digital and Interactive artwork to see and explore, food making, music making and much more.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days: From Cotton to Gold

  • 12 — 13 September 2015

Blackburn Museum was one of the first purpose built free museums to be built, opening in 1874.
It houses a rich and fascinating collection that includes fine art, Egyptology, important collections of coins and Japanese woodblock prints and an internationally important collection of manuscript books.
For the Hertitage Open Day weekend we are opening a special exhibition called 'From Cotton to Gold'
the exhibition draws upon the extraordinary collections amassed by the wealthy industrialists of Victorian Lancashire. It will include stunning manuscripts, fabulous art nouveau glassware and Turner watercolours.
An artist in residence will be leading activities for visitors on Saturday and Sunday and on Sunday John Goldfinch will give a talk on the prized early printed manuscripts of the Hart Collection.
To complement the exhibition, on Saturday Cynthia Johnson will be giving a talk on the Hart Collection of manuscripts in Blackburn Library (100 metres from the Museum)

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days: Cotton to Gold - Exhibition Launch

  • 12 — 13 September 2015

An exhibition showcasing the riches gathered by the great-collector philanthropists of the booming industrial North West.

Having enjoyed phenomenal success at Two Temple Place in London we're delighted that the exhibition has come home to Blackburn with curator, Dr Cynthia Johnston who is in town for the launch as part of Blackburn Heritage Festival.

As the cotton mills boomed,bringing development and deprivation hand in hand, this group of prominent industrialists privately, and sometimes secretively, poured their wealth into some of the finest and most astonishing collections in the country. Exceedingly rare Roman coins, priceless medieval manuscripts, Turner water colours, Tiffany glass, Japanese prints, Byzantine icons, ivory sculptures and even preserved beetles and a Peruvian mummy.
Get lost amongst the treasure and the taxidermy as Cotton to Gold seeks out the stories
behind these characters and what motivated them to give it all away. Discover their
complicated relationship with the fast-developing world in which they lived and ask yourself
are times really so different.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery
Museum St

logo: Heritage Open Days 2014




01254 667130


01254 685541

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.