Holburne Museum

A photo of the outside of an impressive Georgian building
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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.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

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.

Admission charges

Permanent collection free of charge.
Charge for temporary exhibitions.

Collection details

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

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

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.

Suitable for


£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.

Suitable for



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.

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.

Suitable for


£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.

Suitable for





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.

Suitable for


£10 / £8



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 Club


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 s.puntis@bath.ac.uk. 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 s.puntis@bath.ac.uk or calling 01225 820829.

Holburne Museum
Great Pulteney Street

logo: Museums at Night






01225 388569

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.