Southampton City Art Gallery

Southampton City Art Gallery
Civic Centre
Commercial Road
SO14 7LP




023 80 832277

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.
Main hall of gallery
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The Gallery offers something for everyone, whether you're young or old, a lifelong fan or going to a gallery for the first time. Exhibitions and displays range from ancient culture to the cutting-edge and the Gallery is internationally renowned for its impressive art collection, spanning six centuries of European art history.

The City Art Gallery offers a number of public services, including the artlease scheme, gallery library and archives.

This gallery has a Designated Collection of national importance.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Open 10:00–15:00 Monday to Friday, 10:00-17:00 Saturdays. Closed on Sundays.

Admission charges

Admission free

Additional info

Wheelchair access throughout the Gallery.
Toilets including disabled facilities are situated on the ground floor in the Gallery Foyer.
Baby changing: These are also sited on the ground floor Gallery Foyer.

Southampton City Art Gallery has a Designated Collection of national importance.

Southampton City Council's Designated fine art collections have particular strengths in 20th century British art before 1914 and since 1970. The policy of collecting art within 2 years of its creation has resulted in the acquisition of fine examples of work by many Turner Prizewinners.

The collection's greatest strength is 20th century British Art. The Gallery is now internationally renowned for its impressive collection of contemporary works by British artists. A fine selection of works by the Camden Town Group, and paintings by such highly reputed artists as Sir Stanley Spencer, Matthew Smith and Philip Wilson Steer are brought together. In recent decades collecting activities at Southampton City Art Gallery have more than consolidated the Galleries position amongst the very best regional institutions. In this most recent phase, diversity and well as quality is apparent with sculpture, and photography being more fully recognised as critical areas for consideration. This has been broadened still further as the Gallery has added installation and video works to its holdings.

The Gallery’s collection numbers over 3,500 works and spans six centuries of European art history. The works on display, of both historic and contemporary art, show the breadth and quality of the City’s greatest art treasures. The collection's earliest work is an Italian Renaissance altarpiece by Allegretto Nuzi from the 14th century; also featured is Burne-Jones' Perseus Series (shown in an exquisite wood-paneled room), seventeenth century Dutch landscapes and French Impressionist paintings, overall the quality and variety of works is remarkably high.

British Studio Ceramics: Southampton City Art Gallery has an outstanding collection of the work of studio potters from between the wars, the result of a very generous bequest by the Very Reverend Milner-White, a former Dean of York Minster who was a Southampton native and, during his lifetime, a great collector of stoneware pots. These were created by potters like Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada, who worked at St Ives in Cornwall. The stoneware potters were creatively inspired by the newly discovered Chinese stoneware of the Han, T'ang and Sung dynasties. Work from the collection is shown in two specially commissioned cases designed and built by furniture maker Robert Kilvington.

Collection details

Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art

Key artists and exhibits

  • Camden Town Group
  • Sir Stanley Spencer
  • Matthew Smith
  • Philip Wilson Steer
  • Allegretto Nuzi
  • Burne-Jones' Perseus Series
  • British Studio Ceramics
  • Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada
  • Han, T'ang and Sung
  • Robert Kilvington
  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

The Age of Sail

  • 13 December 2014 — 15 April 2015 *on now

From coastal scenes, fishing boats and pleasure yachts to naval vessels in action, this exhibition of paintings, etchings and watercolours from Southampton’s collections evokes the era of square riggers and sailing craft. The exhibition contains works by established marine painters such as Eugène Louis Boudin and Peter Monamy, as well as lesser known, local artists. Also included is an etching by James Abbott McNeill Whistler from his Thames Set series.


Normal admission charges apply.

Louise Bourgeois, A Woman Without Secrets

  • 16 January — 18 April 2015 *on now

Southampton City Art Gallery is delighted to be the first venue in the south to host this major presentation of works by the renowned French-American artist Louise Bourgeois, as part of ARTIST ROOMS on Tour.

This exhibition brings together a group of works that reveal how the artist, working in a variety of materials and scales, explores the mystery and beauty of human emotions. Through recurring motifs such as spirals, spiders and the human form, Bourgeois’ deeply personal and emotive works examine themes such as fear, death, motherhood, sexuality and love.

To coincide with this exhibition a display of artwork from the permanent collection has been thoughtfully selected and reinterpreted by a group of young people. This will be shown in the art gallery’s main hall alongside works they have personally created inspired by the life and work of Louise Bourgeois.


Greg Gilbert

  • 20 March — 18 July 2015 *on now

Greg Gilbert’s work is intimately connected to and inspired by Southampton; exploring notions of memory and its relationship to place. Primarily working in biro, this exhibition will be comprised of intricate miniature drawings and reliefs depicting a mythologized Southampton, where different epochs coexist. Drawing on the councils extensive archive for inspiration and using historic postcards and photographs, these images are personal reflections on
the city and its recent past.


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.

Mini Monets Club (Age 2-6)

  • 11 April 2015 11am-12pm

Join artist Barbara Touati-Evans for our monthly art club sessions. A different activity every time with an exciting variety of creative materials provided each session including a visit to the gallery and a squash drink.


£5.50 / Pre-book on 023 8083 4536


Singing Workshop

  • 18 April 2015 10:30am-3pm

Learn three songs in 3/4 part harmony, experience the gorgeous acoustic of the art gallery, perform acapella to passers by at 12.45pm. No need to read music. Seriously fun singing led by Fiona Funnell, leader of Delicious Sounds Choir.


£15 adult, children £10 / Pre-book on 023 8083 4536


Saturday Life Drawing

  • 18 April 2015 11am-4pm

Led by experienced tutor Brian Reynolds these workshops are suitable for all abilities, except absolute beginners. Draw from life in a relaxed and supportive environment with the opportunity to work in a variety of media, including collage and paint. Please note April will be a full day pose. Basic materials provided.


£30 / Pre-book on 023 8083 4536


The Young Ones (Age 7-12)

  • 28 March — 28 April 2015 *on now
  • 25 April 2015 10:30am-12:30pm

Join artist Jo Bressloff to explore different types of art inspired by the gallery’s exhibitions. From sculpture to printmaking, experiment with a variety of materials, and take home a masterpiece. Please note February’s workshop will be held upstairs in the gallery.


£7 / Pre-book on 023 8083 4536


Art History Study Days

  • 25 April 2015 10am-3pm

Join accomplished Art Historian Jennie Spiers for our bi-monthly study days exploring fascinating art movements and artists. Includes a visit to the gallery and morning refreshments.


£26 (conc. £24)


Louise Bourgeois: Family Dream Catcher Webs (Age 5+)

  • 7 April 2015 10am-12pm, 1-3pm

Louise Bourgeois was fascinated by her dreams. Why not come to the gallery to explore her exhibition and get creative as a family making your very own dream catchers.


£5 / Pre-book on 023 8083 4536


Young Persons Workshop: Louise Bourgeois Fabric and Wire Spider Animation (Age 12-16)

  • 9 April 2015 10:30am-3pm

Spend the day learning about Louise Bourgeois, using wire, fabric and found materials to create spider sculptures inspired by her work. You will then learn how to turn your artwork into a stop-motion animation.


FREE / Pre-book on 023 8083 4536


Louise Bourgeois: Drawing and Painting Workshop (Age 8-13)

  • 10 April 2015 10:30am-3pm

Be inspired by the beautiful drawings and paintings on display in Louise Bourgeois’ exhibition and spend the day exploring drawing and painting skills and techniques.


£15 / Pre-book on 023 8083 4536


Louise Bourgeois: Spider Sculptures (Age 5+)

  • 13 April 2015 10am-12pm, 1-3pm

Inspired by the amazing enormous spider sculpture on display, come and have fun as a family creating your very own spider sculpture out of wire, fabric and recycled materials.


£5 / Pre-book on 023 8083 4536


Young Persons Workshop Louise Bourgeois: Lino Printing Textiles (Age 12-16)

  • 14 April 2015 10:30am-3pm

Learn how to lino print and create your own textile samples using different sewing techniques. Embellish with threads, beads, buttons and found objects. Inspired by Louise Bourgeois’ cells, spirals and her use of colour.


FREE / Pre-book on 023 8083 4536


Louise Bourgeois: Sculpture Workshop (Age 8-13)

  • 17 April 2015 10:30am-3pm

Explore the stunning sculptures on display in Louise Bourgeois’ exhibition and gallery main hall and enjoy learning the skills to create your own 3D sculptures from clay, wire and mod-roc!

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13


£15 / Pre-book on 023 8083 4536