2 May—2 August 2020

Reflections on the Bristol School

Statement regarding coronavirus (COVID-19):

Regretfully we have made the difficult decision to postpone this exhibition – rescheduled dates will be announced as soon as possible. To stay informed about all future and rescheduled events, please consider joining our mailing list. We appreciate your continued support and understanding.


Something different is happening in one of our art galleries.

25 paintings in our Bristol School gallery are being loaned to the Musée des Beaux Arts in Bordeaux. In the meantime, we’ll be displaying new work by local Art on Referral groups.

The Bristol School was a creative group of professionals and amateurs who worked in the city during the early 19th century. They made a unique contribution to the history British art.

The new works are all contemporary responses to these works. How will 21st century Bristolians reflect on these same themes of life, nature and people?

Art on Referral supports positive mental wellbeing through art. Across the city, groups come together to tackle social isolation, improve mental health and explore their creativity. Most have been prescribed the courses by their GP or health worker.

Five different groups are currently working on their own Bristol School reflections. New visions of the city are emerging from paint, collage and fabric. From April you will be able to see these new works displayed alongside the remaining Bristol School masterpieces.

The project is a partnership with CreativeShift, one of the city’s leading organisations in Art on Referral programmes. They deliver creative wellbeing activities to adults who are experiencing, or are vulnerable to, isolation and mental health challenges.

Image: © Jon Craig.