Coming up in 2017

Posted on by Fay Curtis.

Recently nominated the fourth best city to visit in the world in 2017 by Rough Guides, you should definitely be up to date with what’s hot in Bristol this year.

There’s still plenty of time to see our current exhibitions:

City Hall: home of democracy in Bristol
31 Jan – 26 May 2017 | Bristol Archives                      

Image of the 'new' Council House, now called City Hall on College Green, under construction.

City Hall under construction

An exhibition featuring photographs, documents and film charting the history of City Hall and the role of Bristol’s civic centres in democracy in the city.

The old city centre had been the administrative and democratic heart of Bristol since the Middle Ages.

By the 1930s, the Old Council House, built in 1824 on Corn Street, was too small for regular use and a new site on College Green was proposed. But completion of Bristol’s ‘new’ Council House was delayed by the Second World War with the building eventually being opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1956. More recently it has been renamed ‘City Hall’ and last year reopened after redevelopment. Find out more about City Hall: Home of democracy in Bristol.


Skeletons: Our buried bones
8 April – 3 September 2017 | M Shed

Image of a skeleton for the 2017 Buried Bones exhibition

A touring exhibition from Museum of London and Wellcome Trust.

Twelve human skeletons from Bristol and London – each with a unique story to tell.

From a young man, buried without ceremony in South Gloucestershire 3,500 years ago, to a Roman couple found in a single stone coffin, this is a reflection on our society’s rich and varied past and the changing face of the places we live and work in today.

Alongside the exhibition, an exploratory space reveals some of the science behind the stories. Test your knowledge of bones; search for hidden clues to analyse skeletons yourself; and hear from the experts of the excavation site, lab and museum. Find out more about Skeletons: Our Buried Bones.


Alternative Visions: Undiscovered art from the south west
3 June – 10 September 2017 | Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

George J Harding - Pink rain and pain

Pink rain and pain by George J Harding

This touring exhibition of new painting, drawing and sculpture by artists from the south west offers fresh perspectives, new voices and passionate expression.

These are artists who face barriers to the mainstream art world due to health, disabilities, isolation or social circumstances.

You’ll undoubtedly see art in a different light.

Includes audio interpretation by Artists First. Presented in partnership with Arts and Health South West and Outside In.




10 June 2017 – 7 January 2018 | Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

A pliosaur swimming in the sea surrounded by Jurassic marine life

The ultimate ocean predator: a pliosaur

Let’s take you back a few years in time, 150 million years to be precise…Bristol is now a Jurassic ocean teeming with extraordinary creatures!

The biggest and fiercest of all was the giant underwater beast, Pliosaurus. Feeding off fish, squid and even flying reptiles, the Pliosaurus was the ultimate ocean predator.

Dive into the Jurassic deep this summer and come face to face with the beast discovering how it lived – and eventually died. A family exhibition for children aged 3-10 years old. Find out more about Pliosaurus!.


Radical Pottery in Bristol Schools
22 July 2017 – 10 June 2018 | Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Image of a piece of pottery by Hans Coper for the 2017 Radical Pottery exhibition.

Pottery by Hans Coper

That’s right, radical! Studio pottery in the 60s and 70s was underpinned by a passion for the personal, handmade and anti-mass-produced.

A collection of studio pottery was created for Bristol schools to inspire students by showing them examples of the very best. The works were ground-breaking, innovative and often made by women who would go on to become nationally and internationally recognised for pushing the boundaries of ceramics.

The collection includes work by some of the leading potters of the 20th century including Bernard Leach, Michael Cardew, Lucy Rie and Hans Coper.


The Brave Poor Things
14 October 2017 – 15 April 2018 | M Shed

A photo taken from outside the building of the guild of the brave poor things.

Outside the guild of the brave poor things

A series of exhibitions highlighting sites of importance within disability history.

The Bristol exhibition will focus on the story of ‘The Guild of the Brave Poor Things’ – a social space and hub for disabled children and adults.

In 1913, the doors to the purpose built Guild Heritage building in Braggs Lane, Old Market opened; a new headquarters designed by Frank Wills and Sons.

With wide doors and level ground floor, it was possibly the first purpose built accessible building of its kind in England. But what did the Guild of the brave and poor things mean for the people of Bristol?


Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017
November 2017 – April 2018 | M Shed

An urban fox standing up against a wall

Nosy Neighbour © Sam Hobson

In winter the world renowned wildlife photography competition from the Natural History Museum will return to M Shed once again showcasing the natural world’s most astonishing sights.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious photography event of its kind and one of our calendar highlights every year.


And if that’s not enough to keep you entertained, The Red Lodge Museum, The Georgian House Museum and Blaise Castle House Museum will re-open on Saturday 1 April. For a full list of what’s coming up this year, check out our What’s On pages.

One comment on Coming up in 2017

  1. Russell Luscombe

    Thanks Lacey, that sounds like a brilliant mix of themes and media. I’m looking forward especially to the Radical Pottery and Brave Poor Things shows.


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