Pocket Britain
Britain > Somerset > Bath > Victorian Art Gallery

A well-established art museum in the centre of Bath

Listen to this article
Queen Victoria spent 63 years and 7 months on the United Kingdom's throne, from 1837 to 1901. This is the longest reign of any British ruler, and the longest reign of any female monarch in the world.
Bath's Victoria Art Gallery was named in Her Majesty's honour. The building was designed and built during the very last years of her life. It opened in 1900, a year before she passed away. As a further tribute to her monarchy, the exterior of the building includes a prominent statue in her image. It stands on the first floor, gazing imperiously over the street below.
Plenty of beautiful and important artwork was created during Queen Victoria's reign, but this museum's displays aren't exclusive to that time. The permanent collection includes work from the 15th century onwards, all the way up to contemporary pieces by modern artists.
The most well-known exhibits are by popular historic painters like Thomas Gainsborough. He actually lived in Bath for several decades, during its Georgian heyday in the 18th century. These were thriving times for the city. The spa had turned it into a wildly popular and fashionable place. Artists arrived in their dozens to take in the atmosphere, and paint their view of life in the town. The Victoria Gallery has a particular focus on pictures like this. There are images of all Bath's most famous locations, from the Royal Crescent to the Assembly Rooms. This varied and interesting collection gives an important historical insight into what the town was really like back then.
The artwork isn't limited to just paintings. It also includes other genres, like sculpture and glass. The ground floor galleries host a series of temporary exhibitions, which change every couple of months. These can vary wildly in theme, from classic landscapes to modern crafts.
The museum encourages participation, and a bigger interest in art. On each floor there are trolleys stuffed full of drawing materials, giving children the opportunity to create their latest masterpieces. If you're not that confident in your artistic ability, then you can instead participate in the innovative "adopt-a-picture" scheme. This is designed to save paintings that are badly in need of restoration. Anyone who "adopts" the painting, and pays for its conservation, is credited next to the picture. It's a great way to get your name inside a gallery without actually having to be good at art!
Visitor Information
The Victorian Art gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm and Sunday 1.30pm to 5pm. Entry is FREE. Tel: 01225 477233

Back ~ Top ~ Home ~ Index

Pocket Britain is optimised for use on a smartphone or tablet with internet access. All content is subject to copyright. All reasonable methods have been used to ensure information supplied is accurate at the time of publication. However, it is advisable to check information before relying on it. Privacy Policy