Victoria Art Gallery

Upper Gallery Permanent Collection
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Wonderful display of British oil paintings from 17th century to the present day including works by Gainsborough, Barker and Sickert. Over 1,500 decorative arts treasures.

Temporary exhibitions. Adopt a Painting needing restoration and be acknowledged in the gallery. Take part in a monthly Store Tour. Discover images of Bath through the ages. Get creative - art carts on both floors plus Young @ Art holiday activities for the under elevens. Relax with a cuppa or browse the shop!

Venue Type:

Gallery, Museum

Opening hours

Open daily from 10.30 - 17.00.

Closed 25 - 26 December and 1 January.

Admission charges

Entry to the Victoria Art Gallery is free. There is a charge for large exhibitions.


  • National Art Pass

Additional info

Please telephone for further details or to book activities.

Collection details

Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Archives

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
James Tower, Boursa II 1984, earthenware with tin glaze

James Tower Ceramic Artist: A Centenary Celebration

  • 21 September — 24 November 2019 *on now

A retrospective of one of Britain’s most important 20th-century ceramic artists, James Tower, will go on show at the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath this autumn.

The exhibition will feature 40 large ceramics and sculptures by an artist hailed for pushing boundaries and bringing about a new way of appreciating sculptural form in Britain. Also included are paintings and works on paper by Tower – many of them previously unseen – plus ceramic items by artists such as Picasso who influenced and inspired him.

Tower (1919-88) was born in Sheerness on the north Kent coast, with access to windswept beaches, and a shoreline teeming with plant and animal life. This environment left an indelible impression on the future painter turned sculptor.

In an artist’s statement he declared his intention of making “forms to convey a sense of wholeness, releasing inner tensions, serene and harmonious, a world where abounding energy is held in calm restraint.”

“The objects which I strive to make are attempts at hymns to the beauty of the natural world.”

Tower was also a highly respected art school lecturer, setting up the pottery studio at Bath Academy of Art, before becoming Head of Sculpture at Brighton Polytechnic (now Brighton College of Art).

One of Tower’s colleagues at Brighton was Antony Gormley, who pays tribute to his former boss: “There is a sense of water running between rocks, patterns on a butterfly’s wings, spots on a fish’s skin, clouds on a wintery day, stripes on a zebra’s back, ribs of a human chest and the multiple leaves of a compressed succulent in the myriad forms of James’s work. His genius was to synthesise and make of these inspirations in which he delighted things in themselves.” (The Ceramic Art of James Tower, 2012)

This loan exhibition and accompanying book offer a comprehensive survey of this major artist’s achievement to mark the centenary of his birth. James Tower – Ceramics, Sculptures and Drawings, edited by Timothy Wilcox, contains essays by Wilcox, Tanya Harod, Lesley Jackson and Conor Wilson.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Adult £5.00, senior/student £4.50, free for children or local Discovery Card holders. Discounts available for online bookings.


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.

Creating landscapes KS2

This 2 hour session is focussed on the range of methods and approaches of landscape artists. Pupils create responses in dry materials.

How to obtain

Book in advance on 01225 477757

Facing up to it KS2

This two hour session works with the portraits in our main art collection. Pupils use a wide range of media to draw portraits and self portraits. They produce a final 3D abstract piece of work using card and scissors.

How to obtain

Book in advance on 01225 477757

Victoria Art Gallery
Bridge Street

logo: Heritage Open Days 2014




Lower Gallery

01225 477233

Upper Gallery

01225 477244


01225 477232

Collections Manager

01225 477775

Gallery Manager

01225 477772


01225 477231

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.