The Beaney Art Museum and Library

Exterior of the Beaney Art Museum and Library including facade

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge is an Art Gallery, Library and Visitor Information Centre situated in the heart of historic Canterbury.

This award winning facility provides state-of-the-art exhibition galleries, excellent educational facilities and a varied programme of events for all ages.

Whether you are a frequent Library user, a teacher on a Schools Workshop, a parent enjoying the perfect cup of coffee in our Café or an inquisitive explorer studying our treasures from the Ancient worlds; The Beaney is a building for everyone.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery, Library

Opening hours

Museum, Tourist information and Café opening hours:
Monday to Wednesday 9am to 5pm
Thursday 9am to 7pm
Friday and Saturday 9am to 5pm
Sunday 10am to 5pm

Library opening hours:
Monday to Wednesday 9am to 6pm
Thursday 9am to 8pm
Friday 9am to 6pm
Saturday 9am to 5pm

Admission charges

Free entry to the building. Charges may apply for some special events and exhibitions. See our website for full details.

Getting there

Located in Canterbury high street adjacent to Best Lane.

Collection details

Archives, Weapons and War

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Haselden- Home from Britain.

Home Front Britain, 1914-18: the cartoonist’s view

  • 15 October 2016 — 30 April 2017 *on now

At The Drawing Room, The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge

Original cartoon artwork depicting life on the home front 1914-18 through the eyes of Haselden, a brilliant humourist with a highly successful 33-year career at the Mirror. He produced a cartoon for the paper every weekday during World War 1, and his multi-frame style makes him the father of the British newspaper strip cartoon.

In partnership with the British Cartoon Archive.

Suitable for

  • Any age


An Outsider's View: Canterbury through the lenses

  • 14 April — 14 May 2017

An Outsider's View: Canterbury through the lenses of Porchlight people.

Photographs using disposable cameras which paint a picture of people full of creativity and tenderness challenging pre-conceived sterotypes of what it is to be ‘homeless’. Porchlight helps vulnerable and isolated young people and adults access support for mental health, housing, education and employment, and equips them to live independently and play an active role in their community.


Drawn from Life: People on Paper

  • 6 May — 25 June 2017

Drawn from Life: People on Paper brings together work by some of the biggest names in 20th and 21st century British art including David Hockney, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Lucien Freud, Anthony Gormley and L.S. Lowry.

Part of a national tour to celebrate the Arts Council’s 70th Anniversary, the exhibition includes some of the finest drawings from its collection. Works cover the last 100 years and although there are some surprising similarities through the decades, there is also huge diversity in the approaches and techniques used.

Early twentieth century works include pieces by Gwen John and the intricate patterns of Harold Gilman, mid-twentieth-century artists include George Fullard and John Golding and the exhibition is brought up to date with the imaginary figures of Charles Avery and Mimei Thompson.

The majority of works in the exhibition are drawn from observation, though some are from memory or imagination. Some are unfinished studies while others are finished works in their own right. The exhibition also includes work created early on in artists’ careers such as a self-portrait by Richard Hamilton from 1938, Mrs Ash Asleep by Howard Hodgkin from 1952 and Peter Blake’s Portrait of a Man from 1950.

Works from the Arts Council Collection are complemented by a number of loans from the British Council Collection.

With your support, we can continue to showcase world class exhibitions in the heart of Canterbury. Keep us FREE Give £5 today

Arts Council Collection is managed by Southbank Centre, London on behalf of Arts Council England


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.

The Power Of The Object Group

  • 28 April 2017

People affected by dementia or social isolation and their companions are welcome at The Beaney Power Of The Object Group for themed sessions of object handling, gallery visits and tea! A great chance to get close to museum collections and socialise.


Easter Craft

  • 1 — 16 April 2017

Surprise! Open your beautifully designed Easter Egg to find a cute Easter chick inside. We’ll provide the materials for you to make your chick and egg in the museum or at home with friends.


Beast and the Beauty

  • 2 April 2017

Dr Jayne Wackett is Visiting Lecturer to the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS) at the University of Kent. She is an art historian specialising in works from the medieval period and the Renaissance. Having lived a number of years in Cornwall, Jayne was curator at the Royal Cornwall Museum and lectured in Garden History Design at The Eden Project. More recently she has worked on research projects examining the wall paintings of Canterbury and Rochester cathedrals.

As well as sub-editor to the Journal for the Royal Institution of Cornwall, Jayne is editor and co-founder of ‘Picture this….’, a collaboration between MEMS and Canterbury cathedral library and archives which publishes monthly articles exploring the content and context of the treasures in the cathedral’s collections. Her publications include an appraisal of devotional images in the printed liturgy in Reformation England.

Jayne Wackett will be looking at two pieces from the Beaney Museum and Galleries collection: a Hairy Wildman statuette and a portrait of a Tudor noblewoman.

While the stautette is a German Renaissance piece, late C15th or early C16th, the tradition of the Hairy Wildman stems back into medieval history. Also called ‘wodewose’ these beings are generally linked to ‘otherness’ through violence and uncontrolled libido. Appearing in both genders, they are believed by some to be a corruption of the tradition of the green man and even linked to the wild sanctity of saintly hermits. In stories they are the stock ‘baddy’, often the acting as the foil to the hero’s innate goodness.

The accomplished portrait of Susan Bertie shows an elegantly attractive young woman attired in Tudor fashion. This oil on canvas work is a new acquisition, and, in the museum’s own words, the sitter has ‘a family history reading like who’s who of Tudor celebrity’.


A Contemporary Pilgrimage: a guided walk

  • 9 April 2017

A guided walk in Canterbury led by the artists starting from the new Front Room gallery exhibition. Explore alternative routes through the city and draw your own personal map. The walk takes approximately two hours, returning to the Beaney at the finish.


Getting there

Located in Canterbury high street adjacent to Best Lane.

The Beaney Art Museum and Library
18 High Street


Visit the Beaney Art Museum and Library website


Contact The Beaney Art Museum and Library


Contact The Beaney Art Museum and Library

01227 862162

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.