Great Pulteney Street
This jewel in Bath's crown was once the Georgian Sydney Hotel, whose glittering society Jane Austen watched from her house opposite. It displays the treasures collected by Sir William Holburne: superb English and continental silver, porcelain, maiolica, glass and Renaissance bronzes.
The Picture Gallery contains works by Turner, Guardi, Stubbs and others plus portraits of Bath society by Thomas Gainsborough.
We are open free of charge every day. Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday and Bank Holidays 11am to 5pm. Closed 24 to 26 December and 1 January.
Permanent collection free of charge.
Charge for temporary exhibitions.
Gwen John to Lucian Freud
- 28 February — 7 June 2015 *on now
Gwen John to Lucian Freud: Home and the World Dexter Dalwood selects from the Swindon Collection.The Holburne Museum presents 32 Modern British art works specially selected by contemporary artist Dexter Dalwood. Linked by the theme of ‘Home and The World’, this exhibition juxtaposes a confident sense of national identity with a yearning for exploration.Varied artistic approaches reveal the changing landscape of twentieth-century art: the boldness of Vanessa Bell, the introversion of Gwen John, the gravitas of Duncan Grant, the Pop Art invention of Richard Hamilton and the intensity of Lucian Freud.
£6.95 / £5.50 Concessions (Under 16 FREE)
The Observer Observed: A Portrait of Don McCullin
- 14 March — 7 June 2015 *on now
This spring the Holburne unveils its latest painting by a winner of the Holburne Portrait Prize, Charlotte Sorapure. Her subject is the renowned photographer Don McCullin CBE, who is celebrating his 80th Birthday this year. Her compelling portrait will be displayed in the Wirth Gallery alongside some of McCullin’s own melancholy landscape images, and a new photographic portrait of Sorapure herself.
Nicholas Rena: After Matisse
- 21 March — 17 May 2015 *on now
Nicholas Rena has created an installation of entirely new work for the Holburne’s Ballroom table, a series of monumental bowls. Orderly yet vigorous, these colourful vessels are painted and waxed to a flawless finish. The compelling sculptural forms evoke both the ceramics of Lucie Rie and still-lifes by Matisse.
Playing on the Ballroom setting, ‘with its astonishing quality of light and its rich historical resonances,’ Rena’s work explores the colours and tones of the European tradition from maiolica to painting.
Richard III: Alison Weir
- 12 May 2015 7-8:30pm
Alison Weir is a best-selling historian and has sold over 2.7million books worldwide. She has published sixteen history books, including The Six Wives of Henry VIII, The Princes in the Tower, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and The Lady in the Tower. Alison has also published four historical novels, including Innocent Traitor and The Lady Elizabeth. Her latest biography is Elizabeth of York (2013), and her fifth novel, The Marriage Game, was published in June 2014.
The recent discovery of King Richard III’s bones has prompted huge public interest and Shakespeare’s powerful portrayal of him has had an enormous impact on our perceptions of his character. Shakespeare drew on historical sources to depict Richard III’s Machiavellian rise to power and subsequent short reign, from 1483 to 1485, portraying him as a sinister, bloody tyrant, a monstrous being, but have these resources been deliberately distorted and misinterpreted for dramatic affect? Alison Weir’s rigorous research shows that the truth is stranger – and far more complex – than the fiction.
£10 / £8
- 15 May 2015 7:40-8:10pm
Isobel Holly is a young singer from Bath who is a regular performer at the Party in the City with her own unique style of folk/pop songs as well as favourite covers.
- Family friendly
Kilter's Unsung Choir
- 15 May 2015 7-7:30pm
Kilter is running the Unsung project 2014/15. Young people are writing song lyrics about the unsung aspects of their lives and Kilter is setting them to music and teaching them to professional adult choirs
- Family friendly
- 15 May 2015 6:20-6:50pm
Bath Bellas is a small student-run women’s chamber choir from Bath Spa University. Under musical director and founder of the choir, Holly Adams, the small group of music students sing a range of styles from classical music to jazz, musical theatre and a cappella pop tunes.
- Family friendly
A special Holburne 'Up Late'
- 15 May 2015 5-9pm
As part of the Holburne’s series of ‘Up Late’ open evenings we bring you a special evening in conjunction with Museums at Night and Bath International Music Festival’s, Party in the City.
Relax with friends and a drink, share some light bites and enjoy live music throughout the evening in the Garden Café
Museums at Night
Speed date’ the Museum at our bite-sized introduction to our collection and activities. From object handling to hands-on art, we’ll have 15 minute sessions of fun to help you get to know us better
Exhibitions at the Holburne this month include:
Gwen John to Lucian Freud: Home and the World.
Dexter Dalwood selects from the Swindon Collection
The Observer Observed: A Portrait of Don McCullin by Charlotte Sorapure
Nicholas Rena: After Matisse
The Gardener's Lodge Art Group present Neuro-Portraits:
Ever wondered how the brain works? See some of our 18th-century portraits re-interpreted from 'the outside-in', inspired by research and neuroscience imagery from the University of Bath’s Pharmacy & Pharmacology Department. Promoting health and well-being through engagement with the arts
Entry to Gwen John to Lucian Freud and a drink in the Garden Café £8.50
- Any age
The Holburne Museum
Great Pulteney Street
We are a ten minute walk from the centre of town along Great Pulteney Street, one of the most beautiful Georgian streets in the country.
We are a 15 minute stroll from Bath Spa Train Station, through the historical city of Bath and down Great Pulteney Street towards Sydney Gardens.
We have bike racks and the cycle along the canal is a wonderful way to reach us.
We have a very small pay & display car park for Museum visitors and a number of free disabled parking spaces for Blue Badge holders. There is a charge, and the car park is regularly checked by traffic wardens. It is useful to have change ready. Charges apply from 8am to 6pm daily. Our gates are locked at 6pm. Up to 2 hours £3.50, 2 to 3 hours £5, 3 to 4 hours £7, 4 to 6 hours £8.50, 6 to 8 hours £10.50, 8 to 10 hours £12.50.
The No.4 to Bathampton, and the No. 265 to Bradford-on-Avon and Trowbridge – which starts from the Bus Station (next to the Railway Station). It can also be boarded opposite the Guildhall in the High Street. Get off at the Holburne Museum stop in Great Pulteney Street and cross the road to the Museum which is ahead of you. To return find the No.4 bus stop in Great Pulteney Street, opposite the outgoing one. This bus does not go to the Guildhall on its way back to the Bus Station so get off in North Parade or go all the way to the Bus Station.
There is a new World Heritage audio tour of Bath which includes the Holburne Museum – you can download it Bath Tourism’s website
Artists in Context: Romanelli
- 18 May 2015 3-4pm
In the first talk in a new Artist in Context series, Senior Curator, Amina Wright will introduce little-known Roman artist and designer Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (1610-1662) in the context of his times.
Sir William Holburne believed his jewel-like painting of The Entombment to be by the renowned Bolognese master Guido Reni (1575-1642) but in 1962 it was recognised it as an early work by Romanelli. While working alongside the Roman Baroque masters Pietro da Cortona and Bernini, discover how Romanelli developed his own distinctive style and how, after moving to Paris, he adapted to the extravagant tastes of the French Court.
Writing the Museum
- 30 May 2015 10:30am-4:30pm
Unleash your inner Hilary Mantel and try your hand at writing historical fiction. From a Roman ring to the Duke of Monmouth’s silver spur, from a Chinese plate to a portrait of a lady, you will find yourself surrounded by the building blocks of a story inspired by objects in the Museum. Try anything from a short story to a piece of ‘flash’ fiction or the bones of a novel. We will discuss techniques and methods of research.
Jean Burnett writes historical novels and short stories. Her first novel The Bad Miss Bennet, described the further adventures of Lydia Bennet from Pride and Prejudice and a sequel was published at the end of 2014. She is currently completing a novel about the 16th century composer Gesualdo.
£40 / £35
I am Art in Bath: Trevor Fishlock
- 8 June 2015 3-4pm
Hugh Blaker, ‘art connoisseur and collector’ was curator of the Holburne Museum from 1905 – 1913 and adviser to the Davies sisters of Llandinam. Whilst referencing his latest book, A Gift of Sunlight, Trevor Fishlock reveals a story of art, love and money, and the tale of the shy and fabulously wealthy Davies sisters who pluckily went to war in 1916, poured their fortune into charity and education and created a pioneering and magical trove of Impressionist paintings.
Trevor Fishlock is an author, broadcaster and foreign correspondent. He has worked in more than seventy countries and was staff correspondent of The Times in India and New York, and Moscow bureau chief for The Daily Telegraph.
Unbuilt Britain: Olivia Horsfall Turner
- 11 June 2015 7-8:30pm
Lecturing on the subject of her acclaimed BBC 4 series Olivia Horsfall Turner explores the fact that for every building and city plan that has been constructed there exists a multitude of might-have-beens
alternative schemes that were proposed – and in many cases even approved – but which ultimately never came to fruition. This talk will expose how these unbuilt projects offer fascinating insights into the needs, aspirations, politics and practicalities of previous generations from the seventeenth century to the present day.
Dr Olivia Horsfall Turner is an historian, writer and broadcaster who is Curator of Designs at the V&A and Lead Curator for the V&A+RIBA Architecture Partnership. She presented the BBC 4 series Unbuilt Britain.
£10 / £8
Take part in The Holburne Museum of Art's Saturday morning workshops for children aged 7-11 years. Sessions run 10.30-12.30 or 13.00-15.00. Each month's art and craft activities take a seasonal theme to explore a rull range of art mediums.
How to obtain
Booking is essential. Contact Sue Puntis on 01225 820829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Each session is £7.50.
Creative workshops once a fortnight for pre-school children and their adult to explore singing, storytelling, making things and being together. Babies welcome but one-to-one experience essential, so other siblings must be looked after elsewhere. Sessions take place on Mondays and Fridays alternately, with one session every fortnight at 10.30-12.00 or 13.00-14.30. Check the website for a comprehensive calendar of Toddlealong events.
How to obtain
Booking in advance is essential and can be done by contacting Sue Puntis on email@example.com or calling 01225 820829.