Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery

Maidstone Museum
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Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery is an award winning museum, housed in a beautiful Elizabethan manor house, is one of the best in the South-East. Highlights include a 2,500 year old mummy; Maidstone's local history; A fascinating journey through time when dinosaurs walked the earth; One of the finest Japanese collections of Japanese art in the country; Magnificent 'Old Master' oil paintings; and the splendour of the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

Tue-Sat 10.00-17.00
Sun 12.00-16.00 (Closed on Sundays from Nov-Mar)

Closed: Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day

Admission charges

FREE ENTRY

Fine and Applied Art: Dutch and Italian Old Masters, British School, Victorian and Contemporary Paintings, Prints and Sculptures; Textiles, Costume and Accessories; Outstanding Japanese Collections; Furniture and Ceramics.

Natural History: Discover the biodiversity and ecology of Kent and its geological evolution over 300 million years.

Human History: Archaeology, Eqyptian, Medieaval, Victorian Explorers, Maidstone Connections: 'The History of our County Town'.

The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum: Uniforms, Medals, Weapons, Wars and Battles including WW1 and WW2.

Collection details

Archaeology, Architecture, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Natural Sciences, Social History, Toys and Hobbies, Weapons and War, World Cultures

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

Seaweeds and their Secrets

  • 4 October 2016 — 4 April 2017 *on now

A delightful look at the variety of seaweeds around the Kent coast and their sometimes surprising uses in everyday products.

Suitable for

  • Any age
Graham Clarke ‘Now & Then’

Graham Clarke ‘Now & Then’

  • 21 January — 18 March 2017 *on now

Artist, author, illustrator and humourist, Graham Clarke is one of Britain’s most popular and best-selling printmakers. This entertaining exhibition of etchings, blockprints, watercolours and sketchbooks spans 50 years of this prolific Kentish artist’s work demonstrating his unique style found in national collections, royal palaces, galleries, pubs and private homes across the world.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/graham-clarke-now/

Nell Weatherley – Embroidered Watercolours

Nell Weatherley – Embroidered Watercolours

  • 1 — 25 February 2017

An exhibition of Embroidered Watercolour Landscapes by local artist Nell Weatherley.

Nell’s unique landscape and wildlife pieces are inspired by her journeys and memories. Made by drawing multiple layers of watercolour to both sides of a fabric background, Nell then enhances the image using free motion machine embroidery, making the viewer feel that they could walk into the pictures.

Meet the artist each Saturday 10am-5pm.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/nell-weatherley-embroidered-watercolours/

Collaborating Cabinets – West Kent College

Collaborating Cabinets – West Kent College

  • 23 February — 6 April 2017

A pop-up exhibition featuring 12 pieces of original artwork taking inspiration from the Museum’s collections.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/collaborating-cabinets-west-kent-college/

Interpretations

Interpretations

  • 29 March — 23 April 2017

The MVAN (Maidstone Visual Arts Network) group of artists showcase works under the title ‘Interpretations’, with each artist varied in their materials. Several are painters – whether in oils, acrylics or mixed media – while others use textiles and/or paper to make three-dimensional pieces.

Their works also vary from imaginative landscapes to abstracts, work from life, or dream material. All express a mood, feeling or atmosphere, often through metaphor, which they hope viewers will interpret in terms of their own experience.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/interpretations/

Japan: A Floating World in Print

Japan: A Floating World in Print

  • 1 April — 10 June 2017

A captivating display of over 60 ukiyo-e prints from the 18th to the 20th century. With dramatic landscapes from the Edo and Meiji print masters, including Hokusai and Hiroshige, to Bijinga prints of beautiful courtesans and the colourful prints of the 20th century from Ogata Gekko, this exhibition is sure to surprise and delight.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults – £4 (£3.50 when booked online)
Children – FREE

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/japan-floating-world-print/

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.
Museum Lates: An evening with Graham Clarke

Museum Lates: An evening with Graham Clarke

  • 26 January 2017 6:30-9pm

Come and enjoy an evening in the company of Graham Clarke. Gain an insight into his work in an evening of humour and anecdotes from the artist’s life.

Suitable for ages 12+

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 16-17

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/museum-lates-evening-graham-clarke/

Arts Award ‘Discover in a Day’

Arts Award ‘Discover in a Day’

  • 28 January 2017 10am-4pm

We are excited to offer children aged 5+ the opportunity to gain a ‘Discover’ Arts Award. Children, with a parent/guardian, investigate different art forms, find out about an artist or collector, create a piece of art and share their work – all in one day. We are lucky to have Graham Clarke as our guest artist to work with the children!

Upon completion, a certificate is awarded by Trinity. Please note, children’s work is moderated by the team and certificates are ordered on completion. Delivery of certificates can take 6-8 weeks. A museum certificate is awarded on completion of the day and the official Arts Award Certificate will be sent or can be collected from the museum.

All resources will be provided, however this is a full day activity with a 30-45 minute lunch break, so please bring a packed lunch or eat in our cafe.

Children must be accompanied by an adult, who can work with up to three children.

Booking essential as space limited to 15 children.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£20

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/arts-award-discover-day/

February Half Term Make-It Workshops

February Half Term Make-It Workshops

  • 14 — 17 February 2017

Enjoy a week of creative workshops this half term holiday!

Tuesday – Be creative and design a t-shirt. Will you decorate it with hearts, dinosaurs, animals or something from your imagination?

Wednesday – Create a dinosaur cap to show your favourite dino

Thursday – Create a shield using ideas from different times in history. Will yours be Roman, Greek, Viking or just about you?

Friday – Make a mask of your favourite animal, bird, insect or fantasy creature

Suitable for ages 4-11 years. Price is £4 per child or two for £7. Simply drop-in on the day to book. MMF concessions available. Please contact us for details.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 0-4
  • 5-6
  • 11-13

Admission

£4 per child or two for £7

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/february-half-term-make-it-workshops/

Museum Lates: Romance

Museum Lates: Romance

  • 23 February 2017 6-9pm

Join the curators for a talk on the objects in the Museum’s collections that are inspired by love or lust. Followed by a free cocktail in the cafe at 7.30pm and a showing of the beautiful Charlie Chaplin classic, ‘City Lights’.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+
  • 14-15

Admission

£10 per person (£9 MMF members)

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/museum-lates-romance/

Lino Cut Workshop

Lino Cut Workshop

  • 4 March 2017 10:30am-4pm

Inspired by our Graham Clarke exhibition and led by Nick Morley (linocutboy), whose work appears on Penguin and Faber&Faber book covers. Create your own simple black & white linocut, making a range of marks and textures using different tools, planning and carving your image and printing using a wooden spoon and small book press.

Suitable for beginners and those with some experience. All materials will be provided.

Suitable for age 16+.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£38 per person (£36 MMF members)

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/lino-cut-workshop/

Printing Workshop

Printing Workshop

  • 11 March 2017 10:30am-3:30pm

Be inspired by our Graham Clarke exhibition, experiment with printing and create your own print to take home.

15 places per session.

Suitable for ages 8+.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 7-10

Admission

£8 per person (£7 MMF members)

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/printing-workshop/

Museum Lates: ImaGINe

Museum Lates: ImaGINe

  • 30 March 2017 6-9pm

Why did Hogarth put Maidstone Gin bottles into his paintings? Local distiller, Maiden Gin, will transport you back in time to imaGINe 18th-century Maidstione, gin capital of Britain!

Savour tastings of different gins, find out what goes into their making, and buy your favourite direct from the distiller.

Over 18s only.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£5 per person (£4 MMF members)

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/museum-lates-imagine/

Easter Holiday Fun at the Museum

Easter Holiday Fun at the Museum

  • 4 — 13 April 2017

Enjoy a host of fun craft activities over the Easter holidays!

April 4: Animal Puppets – come and make a felt animal puppet

April 5: Suncatchers – decorate a suncatcher to catch the spring sunshine

April 6: Easter Baskets – make an Easter basket to collect all those lovely eggs

April 11: Wings – make a set of butterfly or dragonfly wings to wear

April 12: Paper Flowers – make some pretty spring paper flowers and a card vase to display them in

April 13: Spring Mix – come along and make your choice from a range of spring crafts

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 5-6
  • 11-13

Admission

£3 per child (or two for £5)

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/easter-holiday-fun/

Museum Lates: Quiz Night

Museum Lates: Quiz Night

  • 27 April 2017 6-9pm

Come enjoy a delicious meal of sausage, mash and onion gravy (veggie option available) while you test your knowledge in our fun quiz. Round 1 will begin at 18:30, followed by four more rounds, including an ‘amazing artefacts’ round!

First prize is a fabulous Kent Fine Foods hamper worth over £60.

Teams of 6 people max.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£8 per person

Japanese Style Arrangement

Japanese Style Arrangement

  • 28 April 2017 10:30am-12:30pm

The twisted branches and beautiful blossoms seen in our exhibition ‘Japan: A Floating World in Print‘ are the inspiration for this fascinating workshop. You will create a beautiful arrangement in the Japanese style, led by well-known floral designer Jackie Brooks.

All materials provided, just come along and be inspired.

Booking essential as space is limited.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17
  • 14-15

Admission

£30 per person (£28 MMF members)

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/japanese-style-arrangement/

Manga Workshop

Manga Workshop

  • 13 May 2017 10:30am-3:30pm

Renowned Japanese manga artist ‘Inko’ will lead two amazing workshops.

The morning workshop (for ages 11-17 years) will focus on manga-style drawings and expression, with activities for creating imaginative original characters.

The afternoon workshop for adults will create a four-panel manga comic creation. Suitable for those new to manga or those who want to brush-up existing skills.

If you want to know more about manga culture, how it’s created, why it’s so popular, and ask Inko any questions, this workshop is for you!

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£20 per person (£18 MMF members)

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/manga-workshop/

Museum Lates: Japanese Night

Museum Lates: Japanese Night

  • 25 May 2017 6-9pm

Enjoy tastings of Japanese food, beer, juices and sake from cuisine masters Wagamama, and find out about the history of culinary art in this stunning country. Join our curators for an insight into Japanese culture through our internationally important collection, including a look at tea ceremony wares. Ticket includes curators talk and all tastings – please ensure you order the correct ticket (either the 18:30 talk/19:30 tasting or 18:30 tasting/19:30 talk) when booking.

Tickets are strictly limited – early booking advised.

Over 18s only.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/museum-lates-japanese-night/

Dino Day

Dino Day

  • 27 May 2017 10am-5pm

Meet Rex! Here for one day only, he’s big, he’s fast and he’s SCARY!

Rex is free to see. He’ll appear at 10.30, 12.30 and 14.30.

Children can also have fun making their own dino tail and be like Rex (£3 per child).

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/dino-day/

Half Term Week Make-It Workshops

Half Term Week Make-It Workshops

  • 30 May 2017 10:30am-3pm

Fun-filled craft activities inspired by our exhibition ‘Japan: A Floating World in Print‘ – guaranteed to keep the children entertained.

Tuesday: Japanese Fish Kites – make a Japanese-inspired fish kite

Wednesday: Japanese dolls – make a Japanese-inspired figure

Thursday: Samurai Helmets – make a Samurai helmet to wear home

Friday: Japanese Fans – make and decorate a Japanese-inspired fan

Suitable for ages 4+. Max 20 children per session.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 11-13

Admission

£3 per child (two for £5)

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/half-term-week-make-workshops/

Family Arts Award Day

Family Arts Award Day

  • 24 June 2017 10am-4pm

Weird Creatures – animal-themed Arts Award.

We are excited to offer children aged 5+ the opportunity to gain a Discover Arts Award through our ‘Discover in a Day’ package.

Children, with a parent/guardian, investigate different art forms, find out about the museum’s natural history collection, create a piece of art and share their work – all in one day! Upon completion, a certificate is awarded by Trinity College. Please note, children’s work is moderated by the team and certificates are ordered on completion. Delivery of certificates can take 6-8 weeks. A museum certificate is awarded on completion of the day and the official Arts Award Certificate will be sent or can be collected once they arrive at the museum.

Limited availability of just 15 spaces for children, accompanied by one adult.

All resources are provided. This is a full day, with a 30-45 minute lunch break, so please bring a packed lunch or eat in our cafe.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 11-13
  • 7-10
  • 14-15

Admission

£20 per person (£18 MMF members)

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/family-arts-award-day/

Museum Lates: Kentish Wares

Museum Lates: Kentish Wares

  • 29 June 2017 6-9pm

Hear from our curators about the historic local industries that shaped Maidstone, then meet local beer, cider, wine and food producers. Sample them all and buy your favourites!

The curators talk is free but numbers are limited – please book online.

No need to book for the incredible edibles, just turn up and enjoy!

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/museum-lates-kentish-wares/

Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery
St. Faiths Street
Maidstone
Kent
ME14 1LH
England

Website

General Information

www.museum.maidstone.gov.uk

E-mail

General Enquiries

museuminfo@maidstone.gov.uk

Telephone

General Enquiries

01622 602838/9

Education Enquiries

01622 602853

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.
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