The Higgins Bedford

The Higgins Bedford
Castle Lane
Bedford
Bedfordshire
MK40 3XD
England

Website

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.
Shattering the Canon

Shattering the Canon: Post-Impressionism & British Art

  • 10 May — 12 October 2014 *on now

When the work of Cézanne, Gauguin and the Post-Impressionists was first shown to the British public in 1910 the course of British art was forever altered. As Paul Nash wrote several years later, ‘every canon of art, as understood, was virtually shattered’ as a new generation of artists fell under the spell of the continental avant-garde.

This exhibition, drawn from the Cecil Higgins Collection of works on paper, explores the work of the Post-Impressionists, their forerunners the Impressionists, and their dramatic influence on British art. Prints by artists such as Paul Gauguin and Camille Pissarro will be shown alongside watercolours and drawings by artists including Spencer Gore and Duncan Grant.

Check the website www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk for details of talks and events related to the exhibition.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free Entry

Website

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

London by Edward Bawden

London by Edward Bawden

  • 22 May — 26 October 2014 *on now

This exhibition showcases Edward Bawden’s unique and iconic vision of the capital. From advertising designs for London Transport to large scale architectural linocuts of famous landmarks, these remarkable images show how Bawden’s relationship with the city developed throughout his long career.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free Entry

Website

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

David Litchfield Freak

Imagined Cities

  • 5 July — 14 September 2014 *on now

We’re turning the Connections Gallery into a giant artwork – with your help! Inspired by the theme of cities in our exhibitions programme, we want you to create an imaginary cityscape across the gallery walls. Illustrator David Litchfield (The Beano, the Daily Telegraph, Anorak Magazine) will start things off and the artwork will grow and develop over the summer with your contributions.

Look out for related events and activities with David and fellow members of the Circus of Illustration.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free Entry

Website

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

Highlanders: Billeted in Bedford at The Higgins Bedford

Highlanders: Billeted in Bedford

  • 27 September 2014 — 31 May 2015

Highlanders: Billeted in Bedford opens on Saturday 27th September 2014 and runs until 31st May 2015 and will be accompanied by talks and special events.

Highlanders: Billeted in Bedford is part of the First World War Centenary Partnership, led by IWM (Imperial War Museums). The exhibition that explores the little-known story of the Highland Division billeted in Bedford between August 1914 and May 1915.

Up to 22,000 soldiers from Highland regiments arrived in the local area; given that the population of Bedford at the time was approximately 39,000, this was a very significant number. Alex Rule, a member of 1/4th Gordon Highlanders wrote ‘The quiet old county town was shaken to its foundations. We doubled the population; sheer weight of numbers alone made us a disturbing factor in its civic life’. However, the Highlanders soon become a welcome and familiar sight in the town, with many local families opening their doors to welcome the soldiers.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free

Website

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

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.
Cezanne Gauguin Gone!

Holiday Activity: Cézanne, Gauguin, Gone!

  • 29 July 2014 11am-4pm

Time flies making a clock inspired by French painters!

Family join-in sessions
Suitable for ages 3+
Activities take about an hour and start at 11am, 12, 2pm and 3pm.
No need to book.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£2.20 per participating child

Website

http://www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk/whats_on/family_events.aspx

Re-Fashion Paris

  • 30 July 2014 11am-4pm

Create French fashion clothing of the future.

Family join-in sessions
Suitable for ages 3+
Activities take about an hour and start at 11am, 12, 2pm and 3pm.
No need to book.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£2.20 per participating child

Website

http://www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk/whats_on/family_events.aspx

Holiday Activity: Cup-a-Face

Holiday Activity: Cup-a-Face

  • 5 August 2014 11am-4pm

Have fun making mini mosaic coasters

Family join-in sessions
Suitable for ages 3+
Activities take about an hour and start at 11am, 12, 2pm and 3pm.
No need to book.

Admission

£2.20 per participating child

Website

http://www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk/whats_on/family_events.aspx

Holiday Activity: Pharaoh Style

  • 6 August 2014 11am-4pm

Have fun making Egyptian headdresses and jewellery.

Family join-in sessions
Suitable for ages 3+
Activities take about an hour and start at 11am, 12, 2pm and 3pm.
No need to book.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£2.20 per participating child

Website

http://www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk/whats_on/family_events.aspx

Holiday Activity: Potty Gods

  • 8 August 2014 11am-4pm

make clay pots and finger-puppets inspired by ancient Cyprus.

Family join-in sessions
Suitable for ages 3+
Activities take about an hour and start at 11am, 12, 2pm and 3pm.
No need to book.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£2.20 per participating child

Website

http://www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk/whats_on/family_events.aspx

Holiday Activity: Hold Very Tight!

  • 12 August 2014 11am-4pm

Family join-in sessions
Suitable for ages 3+
Activities take about an hour and start at 11am, 12, 2pm and 3pm.
No need to book.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£2.20 per participating child

Website

http://www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk/whats_on/family_events.aspx

Holiday Activity: Bawden-opoly

  • 13 August 2014 11am-4pm

Family join-in sessions
Suitable for ages 3+
Activities take about an hour and start at 11am, 12, 2pm and 3pm.
No need to book.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£2.20 per participating child

Website

http://www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk/whats_on/family_events.aspx

Holiday Activity: Midnight Capital

  • 15 August 2014 11am-4pm

Family join-in sessions
Suitable for ages 3+
Activities take about an hour and start at 11am, 12, 2pm and 3pm.
No need to book.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£2.20 per participating child

Website

http://www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk/whats_on/family_events.aspx

Holiday Activity: Space-Head

  • 19 August 2014 From 11am

Family join-in sessions
Suitable for ages 3+
Activities take about an hour and start at 11am, 12, 2pm and 3pm.
No need to book.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£2.20 per participating child

Website

http://www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk/whats_on/family_events.aspx

Cabinet of Curiosities

A Cabinet of Curiosities

  • 4 September 2014 1-1:30pm

The Higgins Bedford volunteer, Melissa, looks at the history of the Cabinet of Curiosities and talks about her work developing our own ‘cabinet of wonders’.

Admission

£2.50 (concession £2)

Website

http://www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk/whats_on/talks__tours.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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