The Higgins Bedford

The Higgins Bedford
Castle Lane
Bedford
Bedfordshire
MK40 3XD
England

Website

Visit our website for more information about what's on, visiting and the collections

http://www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk

E-mail

Contact us

thehiggins@bedford.gov.uk

Telephone

The Higgins Bedford

01234 718618

Education Service

01234 718627

Fax

Main Gallery

01234 718619

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.
The Higgins Bedford
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The Higgins Bedford reopened in June 2013 following a major redevelopment. The Higgins showcases wonderful and varied collections including the Cecil Higgins Collection of fine and decorative arts, with its world-class watercolour and print collections and unique groups of work by the designers William Burges and Edward Bawden. The watercolour collection includes works by Turner, Constable, Cotman and Blake, whilst the print collection includes works by Picasso, Goya, Munch and Bonnard alongside many others. The Higgins explores the inspiring stories of local people and encourages a ‘sense of place’ for Bedford and the surrounding area. Using collections of archaeology, social history and ethnography, The Higgins shows how the town of Bedford has developed.

Venue Type:

Gallery, Museum

Opening hours

The Higgins Bedford is Free to visit.
Opening Hours are: Tuesday - Saturday: 11am - 5pm
Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday: 2- 5pm
Closed Mondays, Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing day and new Year's Day

Admission charges

Adults Free
Childen Free

Getting there

By Road: If arriving from the north or south there are excellent links to Bedford from the M1, A1 and A6. If travelling from the west or east, the A421 and A428 provide easy access to the town. There is an excellent Park & Ride facility on the A6 at Elstow, south of Bedford, which is also convenient for visitors arriving on the A421 from the M1 and A1.

There are 4 car parking spaces at the entrance of the art gallery and museum for visitors with Accessible Parking Permits or Blue Badges.

The main routes to Bedford are:

From the M1 (North and South) : exit at Junction 13 and follow the A421 towards Bedford, and follow the signs to the Town Centre
From the A1 (North) : exit at the Black Cat roundabout and follow the A428 to Bedford, and then signs to the Town Centre
From the A1 (South) : exit at the Sandy roundabout and follow the A603 to Bedford, and then signs to the Town Centre

The nearest public car park is at Lurke Street, just 5 minutes walk from The Higgins Bedford. If attending evening functions the nearest 24 hour, open air, public car parks are St Peter’s Street and Riverside Square, both about 10 minutes walk.

By Train: The Higgins Bedford is 0.9 miles from Bedford Midland Railway Station. Follow the sign posted route to the Town Centre and Art Gallery & Museum, about 20 minutes walk. Alternatively there are taxis readily available at the railway station.

There are frequent services from London (St Pancras International) with trains arriving and departing every 30 minutes. The First Capital Connect service runs from Brighton, Gatwick Airport, London stations, St Albans and Luton through to Bedford. The East Midlands Trains service runs from Sheffield, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Kettering and Wellingborough to Bedford, and on to St Pancras International.

Collection details

Archives, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Social History

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Edward Bawden (1903 - 1989), Ives Farmhouse, Great Bardfield, 1956,

Bawden's Britain

  • 18 December 2013 — 11 May 2014 *on now

This exhibition celebrates Edward Bawden’s unique take on Britain and its inhabitants, both human and animal. From woodpigeons and church spires on a wallpaper design to a village bobby in one of his characteristic linocuts, Bawden’s closely observed depictions of British life show a wit and humour that is unique to the artist.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free Entry

Website

http://www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk/exhibitions/current_exhibitions/bawdens_britain.aspx

A National Art: Watercolour & the British Landscape Tradition

A National Art: Watercolour & the British Landscape Tradition

  • 18 December 2013 — 27 April 2014 *on now

At the beginning of the 20th century, the popularity of watercolour was at an all time low. Yet from the 1930’s, it became seen as part of an important artistic tradition, ‘a national art’ that was ideally suited to the portrayal of the British landscape, and its changeable weather. As the threat of war became more apparent, and there was an increasing sense of uncertainty and vulnerability, many artists began to look to the land, the countryside, and this great ‘British’ tradition for inspiration.

Artists that had enjoyed little success in their own time, such as John Sell Cotman, Francis Towne and Samuel Palmer were re-evaluated. The cool tones and strong draughtsmanship of Cotman and Towne appealed to the modernist tastes of Eric Ravilious, Paul Nash and John Piper. Piper was also inspired by the spiritual qualities of Samuel Palmer’s landscapes. Alongside Graham Sutherland and other Neo-Romantic artists, Piper saw Palmer’s work in a fresh light. Piper wrote of Palmer: 'Mysterious shadows shortening before the rising full moon, the cut edge of the standing corn, fruit trees lolling to the ground under their weight of fruit. These were the realities that gave substance to his vision.’ John Piper, 1942

‘A National Art’: Watercolour & the British Landscape Tradition showcases the strength and depth of the Cecil Higgins collection, allowing the work of several generations of great watercolourists to be shown side-by-side.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free Entry

Website

http://www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk/exhibitions/current_exhibitions/a_national_art.aspx

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Art and Design

A wide range of sessions are available using the collections in the Gallery as inspiration for practical work.

How to obtain

Contact the Education Department (01234) 217418.

Describing Toys

Getting there

By Road: If arriving from the north or south there are excellent links to Bedford from the M1, A1 and A6. If travelling from the west or east, the A421 and A428 provide easy access to the town. There is an excellent Park & Ride facility on the A6 at Elstow, south of Bedford, which is also convenient for visitors arriving on the A421 from the M1 and A1.

There are 4 car parking spaces at the entrance of the art gallery and museum for visitors with Accessible Parking Permits or Blue Badges.

The main routes to Bedford are:

From the M1 (North and South) : exit at Junction 13 and follow the A421 towards Bedford, and follow the signs to the Town Centre
From the A1 (North) : exit at the Black Cat roundabout and follow the A428 to Bedford, and then signs to the Town Centre
From the A1 (South) : exit at the Sandy roundabout and follow the A603 to Bedford, and then signs to the Town Centre

The nearest public car park is at Lurke Street, just 5 minutes walk from The Higgins Bedford. If attending evening functions the nearest 24 hour, open air, public car parks are St Peter’s Street and Riverside Square, both about 10 minutes walk.

By Train: The Higgins Bedford is 0.9 miles from Bedford Midland Railway Station. Follow the sign posted route to the Town Centre and Art Gallery & Museum, about 20 minutes walk. Alternatively there are taxis readily available at the railway station.

There are frequent services from London (St Pancras International) with trains arriving and departing every 30 minutes. The First Capital Connect service runs from Brighton, Gatwick Airport, London stations, St Albans and Luton through to Bedford. The East Midlands Trains service runs from Sheffield, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Kettering and Wellingborough to Bedford, and on to St Pancras International.

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