August at the Holburne

Ossie Wearing a Fairisle Sweater sml (c) David Hockney.jpg

David Hockney, Ossie Wearing a Fairisle Sweater, 1970 © David Hockney Photo Credit: Fabrice Gibert

Marvellous Makers, Wondrous Worlds: Raised Embroidery from the seventeenth century

until 11 September 2022

Regardless of their social status, most women were expected to be competent at needlework during the 17th-century, but only a privileged few were able to afford the time or materials to make decorative embroidered pictures. Most were made by young, highly skilled non-professional needlewomen in wealthy households and were designed to display their mastery of the craft. Described as ‘curious work’ by its contemporaries, raised embroidery was considered unfashionable in the eighteenth century, despised through most of the nineteenth and reassessed in the twentieth, and it was passed down mainly by women who preserved the legacy of their female forebears.


The Holburne Museum has an important collection of raised embroidery and other 17th-century textiles. A focussed loan exhibition in the Wirth Gallery will complement and highlight the significance of this part of the collection through a jewel-like show that will allow visitors to look closely at these exceptional objects.

Marriage Portrait of Jakob Fugger and Sybilla Artzt. Thoman or Hans Burgkmeier, 1498 .jpg

Marriage Portrait of Jakob Fugger and Sybilla Artzt. Thoman or Hans Burgkmeier, 1498 © Schroder collection

Love Life: David Hockney Drawings 1963-1977 

until 18 September 2022

A sumptuous collection of rarely seen drawings by one of our most popular and recognisable artists goes on display in Bath this summer


In 2017, prior to the opening of a retrospective exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, David Hockney (b.1937) painted the words ‘Love Life’ on the final wall of the show. Explaining his actions, he said: “I love my work. And I think the work has love, actually ... I love life. I write it at the end of letters – ‘Love life, David Hockney.”


That simple exhortation is a now common refrain for the artist, who regularly appeals for people to enjoy the simple beauty of the world around them. Although Hockney’s love of life has been exemplified through recent bodies of work, such as depicting the progress of spring in his native Yorkshire (2011-13) and, most recently, in Normandy (2020), the Holburne’s new exhibition will demonstrate how Hockney’s ‘Love Life’ dictum has underpinned his art since the 1960s.


Hockney’s delight in the world is no better demonstrated than in the drawings he made in the late 1960s and 1970s. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to marvel at his extraordinary power of observation and skill in using tiny, mundane details to help capture a situation, a sitter’s character, or a place.

A sumptuous collection of rarely seen drawings by one of our most popular and recognisable artists goes on display in Bath this summer


Northern Renaissance masterpieces on long term loan from private collection go on display at the Holburne Museum, in new gallery created especially for them

The Holburne Museum is excited to announce the opening of a new display of masterpieces of Northern Renaissance painting, on loan for twenty years from the Estate of Bruno Schroder.


Though small, this collection consists of paintings of international standing, including major works by artists such as Lucas Cranach the Elder, Hans Holbein the Elder and Ulrich Apt. Perhaps the most important painting of the group is Hans Burgkmeier’s 1498 portrait of Jakob Fugger and his bride Sybilla Artzt. Known as Fugger the Rich, Jakob Fugger was an Augsburg merchant and banker who was the major financial force behind the Habsburg dynasty.


As well as the nine important paintings, the display includes a rare complete set of Albrecht Dürer’s sixteen engravings illustrating Christ’s Passion.

The works are all on loan from the Estate of late British banker Bruno Schroder. The collection was assembled by Mr Schroder’s forebears in the 1910s and 1920s. The loan to the Holburne has been agreed for twenty years, adding an important new dimension to the collection of one of the most respected regional art museums in the country.


Though small, the collection is recognised as being of international importance and of the highest quality. For example, the collection includes one of three versions of Ulrich Apt’s 1521 portrait of Lorenz Kraffter (the son of an emigré Scotsman in Augsburg) and his wife Honesta Merz. The other versions reside in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Royal Collection and, when the three were brought together a few years ago, the Schroder version was widely considered the finest.

Garden Theatre Festival

until 12 August 

This year’s festival will be your chance to make fantastic memories with the ones you love in the magical gardens of the museum. With a whole host of events featuring superb performances from children’s theatre to late night music, there’s something for everyone! 

Summer art Camps

10 days of creative day camps 25,26,27+28 July 1,2,3, 4,9+10 August
£42per day For children aged 6-11 years 

This Summer you can enjoy an explosion of colour, creativity and fun in ten days of art camps. We'll be exploring and discovering the hidden wonders in the Holburne Museum and nearby Sydney Gardens, learning and experimenting with a range of wonderful art materials- let your imagination go wild!

 Each art camp day is led by a different talented artist, who will be on hand to offer creative inspiration so you can learn to love making and creating in a new and playful way. Topics covered include colourful creatures, extraordinary insects, felting & fabric, fascinating florals and glorious food.


More information and to book

Nat Mander Photo courtesy Matthew Walker.jpg

Andrew Graham-Dixon

Mozart Recital

18 August £20 doors open at 7pm, the concert will begin at 7.30pm
The Schantz fortepiano, acquired by the Holburne in 1983, is one of the highlights of the collection. It was made in Vienna around 1795 and only four such instruments have survived. The internationally respected keyboard artist Nathaniel Mander has chosen to play some of Mozart’s most appealing and enchanting sonatas and variations. This is a rare opportunity to hear the fortepiano come to life, with an exceptionally talented musician.


Chris Stephens David Hockney: Love Life
Lecture 15 September 7pm £15
Doors open 6pm, Garden Cafe open for drinks, Love Life exhibition open 6 to 7pm

Director of the Holburne, Chris Stephens has worked with David Hockney several times over the last fifteen years. Rich with illustration, personal anecdote and historical facts, this talk will demonstrate how all of Hockney’s art reflects a heartfelt belief in the pleasure to be derived from the ordinary things around us, from the images of gay relationships that made his name in the early 1960s to the iPad drawings of his Normandy garden made during the Covid pandemic.

More information and to book


The Holburne Museum 

Holburne Museum | Bath | BA2 4DB

01225 388569