Magical mystery tours and art explosions make for unmissable Museums at Night

By Culture24 Staff | 25 March 2010
A photo of an abstract painting of multicoloured circles

(Above) Kenji Yoshida, La Vie (2008) at October Gallery. Photo: Johnathan Greet, courtesy October Gallery, London

Some of the greatest buildings and galleries in the UK are offering exclusive tours and artist workshops for Museums at Night this year. Check out our guide to some of the best announced so far, and click on the link for each event to find out more and book your place...

Galleries and artwork look and feel different under the cover of darkness. Find out how masterpieces by Holbein, Rubens, Rembrandt, Turner and Cezanne appear in a different light at the national gallery of the north, Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery, and trip through shadowy open studios at Welsh arts flagship Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

Curators will guide you through Scarborough Art Gallery in between high-speed life and object drawing classes, although Phoenix Brighton is the place for a stranger, more voyeuristic tour, where a home will somehow be inserted into the gallery.

A photo of people looking at portraits of a woman in a red robe in a gallery

The National Portrait Gallery. © Julie Kertesz

Cocktails are on the menu in the company of Michelangelo at The Courtauld Gallery, and there's further frivolity at Tate Modern, whose 10th birthday bash will open up the whole building for a night of music, art and film.

Night time garden photography with Linda Rutenberg takes place after dark at the Garden Museum, there's an explosion of Indian culture and music at the National Portrait Gallery and an evening of candlelit splendour awaits night-time visitors to Bournemouth's Russell-Cotes Art Gallery.

A photo of the outside of a tall ancient cathedral dimly lit at night

Norwich Cathedral is among a number of imposing Medieval haunts opening for the Norfolk city's Museums at Night debut

Architectural gems opening their doors include the illuminated Clifton Suspension Bridge tour in Bristol, the twinkling chandeliers of Harewood (Leeds), Apsley and Wellington Houses (London) and the ancient, darkened nooks and crannies of St Nicholas Priory in Exeter, York Minster and Nottingham's Wollaton Hall.

The award-winning design of Woking's Lightbox will be open for perusal after hours in an evening which includes a lantern workshop and a three-course meal, and two floors of sculpture at Tate Liverpool are revealed in "new and surprising ways".

Imperious buildings are the subject of exclusive tours across the country, from a "private social tour" of Edwardian house Polesden Lacey to Carshalton Water Tower, visits to the Priory Church of St James in Dudley, the inside track on the bridges of Derbyshire and a series of tours around Norwich's Medieval myriad for the city's debut Museums at Night campaign.

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