Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum

Image of Russell-Cotes Art GAllery & Museum Exterior
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This Grade II* seaside villa is the former home of Sir Merton and Lady Annie Russell-Cotes, who designed it to house their art collection and objects from their world travels. It was gifted to the borough in 1908 and opened as a museum in 1922. A modern extension has since been added following a Heritage Lottery Fund refurbishment providing temporary gallery space as well as a shop and cafe.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery, Historic house or home

Opening hours

Tue-Sun 1000-1700
Bank Holiday Mon 1000-1700

Closed: Mon
Good Friday and Christmas Day.

Admission charges

Charges Apply
Adult £6 (gift aid)
Child £4 (gift aid)


  • Museums Association

One of the last Victorian houses built, East Cliff Hall incorporates an eclectic mix of Scottish, Italian and Moorish styles creating a unique atmosphere. The collection includes Victorian art and sculpture; artefacts from the Russell-Cotes' extensive world travels, including a dedicated Japanese gallery; a gallery devoted to the actor Henry Irving; an Edwin Longsden Long gallery; and changing temporary exhibitions showcasing modern art and items from the museum's store. Items not on display can be viewed by prior arrangement.

Collection details

Architecture, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Maritime, Personalities, Social History, World Cultures, Performing Arts

Key artists and exhibits

  • Japanese Art
  • Henry Irving
  • Rossetti
  • Venus Verticordia
  • Victorian Art
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Animal Paintings: A Contemporary Approach by Kate Salway and Sue Jenkins

  • 27 September 2015 — 10 January 2016 *on now

An exhibition by local artists Kate Salway and Sue Jenkins, who specialise in painting the natural world.

Kate is a Slade trained artist working in watercolour and oil. Her CREATURES series of paintings specialises in wild animals, birds, insects and beetles.

Sue paints portraits of the ‘ordinary’ and perhaps unnoticed animals around her home and rebuilds them on paper using watercolour pencil and gouache. She is intent on recreating the individual demeanour, character and expression of her subjects.

Sue has a BA degree in Fine Art and work as a professional artist in West Dorset.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Russell Coates at the Russell-Cotes: Animals on Porcelain

  • 16 October 2015 — 13 March 2016 *on now

The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum welcomes studio potter Russell Coates.

Russell Coates works in under-glazed porcelain in the style of Japanese Kutani ware. The pieces are fired three times and decorated by hand with animals and birds such as deer and hoopoes creating this distinctive look.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Beasts or Best Friends? Animals in Art

  • 16 October 2015 — 13 March 2016 *on now

Adored as pets, worshipped as Gods, exploited for food and hunted for sport: are humans really animals’ best friends?

Judge for yourself, as you explore how the dynamic between humankind and the animal world is depicted in art.

This exhibition is working in partnership with Southampton City Art Gallery.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum
East Cliff

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01202 451858

24 hour answer-phone

01202 451800


01202 451851

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.