Defining a dynasty- a gem of a show.

Defining a dynasty- a gem of a show.

For colour – and sheer quality – Bath’s Holburne Museum has got itself a little gem of a new exhibition which brings together a variety of artistic work – across the whole  Bruegel family dynasty – for the first time in this country.


Guests admire the newly-discovered masterpiece.

Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty helps unravel the complex family tree – revealing the originality and diversity of its members across four generations of painters.


Thirty-five works are on display – including masterpieces from the National Gallery, Royal Collection Trust, the National trust, the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Ashmolean Museum and the Barber lnstitute of Fine Arts.

Pride of place goes to the discovery of a masterpiece in the museum’s own collection.

This is Director Jennifer Scott’s last big show before she leaves for a new post as Director of the Dulwich Gallery in London.


Bruegel expert Amy Orrock and Holburne Director Jennifer Scott.

She has co-curated the display with Bruegel expert Amy Orrock who has also written  a book to accompany the exhibition.


The book Amy Orrock has written to accompany the exhibition.

lt’s not the biggest of galleries to lay out such an exclusive exhibition but – with a clever use of space and colour – the Holburne’s succeeded in providing the perfect background to show off both the talent and diversity of Antwerp’s most famous artistic dynasty and give you room to appreciate it.

Bath Newseum spoke to Jennifer and Amy – just before the special preview.


A book to accompany the exhibition Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty is written by Amy Orrock and published by Philip Wilson and will be on sale in the Holburne’s Gift Shop for £16.95.

Principal Exhibition Sponsor Bath Spa University Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty 11 February – 4 June 2017 £10 Full Price | £9 concessions | £5 Art Fund, Full Time Student | FREE Entry to under 16s and All Museum Members All tickets purchased online will state 5pm but are valid at any time during our opening hours The Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DB

Open daily, free admission 10am to 5pm (11am to 5pm Sundays and Bank Holidays) T: 01225 388569 | E: |

All of a flutter at the Abbey.

All of a flutter at the Abbey.


Last summer saw Bath Abbey filled temporarily with hundreds of colourful paper butterflies as part of the city-wide Forest of the Imagination Festival.

The Abbey will see the return of these exotic creations this week in a year-long installation by Bath-based artist, Anthony Head. 

iMigration 2 by Anthony Head is a large-scale sculpture, a swarm of colourful paper butterflies, spanning five metres and suspended ten metres up in the air in the Abbey’s South Transept.


An image from the 2016 installation at Bath Abbey.

The first impression for visitors is of a single group, a swarm of creatures that appear to be the same. However, on closer inspection, the viewer will discover that each butterfly is unique, with its own digital genetic code and individual wing pattern influenced by random mutations.

The artist, Anthony Head, explains: “iMigration 2 explores the themes of migration, diversity and individuality. In the swarm, each butterfly is unique, created with a variety of technologies and featuring colour and patterns designed using computer coding, influenced by the mathematics of nature. The butterflies will move gently in the air currents that fill the Abbey as if travelling on a migration.


This year’s display in the South Transept.

“In today’s world of human migration and its reporting, it’s easy to forget how unique each person is, to reduce people to anonymous groups, stereotypes, or just numbers. My hope is that once the viewer has had a chance to enjoy looking at the swarm of butterflies as a whole, they will be drawn to look closer at each one. The artwork is a provocation to not be satisfied by our world saturated by ‘mass’ media reporting, statistics and the digital consumption of news. It asks you to seek and listen to individual stories by human beings who are affected by migration. Hence iMigration.” 

Stephen Girling, one of the Abbey’s vicars, said: “The sculpture made such an impact on us and our visitors last summer that we invited the artist, Anthony Head, to recreate this wonderful experience in our South Transept.  Not only is it a visually stunning piece, it provokes us to think about the worth of every individual caught up in human migration and to wrestle with issues of justice around both forced and economic migration”.


The sculpture of colourful paper butterflies will remain in the Abbey for a year, from February 2017 to February 2018, so visitors and local residents will have plenty of opportunities to examine the artwork for themselves. 

Bath Abbey is open seven days a week for visiting (Mondays 9.30-5.30pm, Tuesdays 9am-5.30pm, Saturdays 9am-6pm and Sundays 1-2.30pm and 4.30-5.30pm) with regular services on weekdays and Sundays. For more information please visit


History through a lens.

History through a lens.

A collection of iconic news photographs will go on display next month in a major new exhibition at  Bath’s  Victoria Art Gallery.

CHINA. Beijing. Tiananmen Square. 1989.

CHINA. Beijing. Tiananmen Square. 1989.

‘History through a Lens: Iconic Photographs from the Incite Project’ (25 February-10 May 2017), will feature more than 100 images that have changed public perception of world events.

The photographs have been selected from the Incite Project, a collection of issue-driven photographic prints motivated by current political and social concerns that are still within our power to correct. We are used to seeing these images in the press, accompanied by columns of text, but the Incite Project treats them as works of art.



At the core of the collection are the classics of 20th-century photojournalism that have become visual markers of a moment in time – for example the assassination of JFK, a rare shot of the Normandy D-Day landing, Nelson Mandela in his cell on Robben Island, and the losses of life caused by 9:11 and overcrowded boats capsizing in the Mediterranean. 

Photographers represented include Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, Don McCullin, Sebastiao Salgado and W. Eugene Smith.

The Incite Project is also motivated by a passion to support the photographers and artists currently making extraordinary images about contemporary issues. Thirty percent of the show consists of 21st-century prints, giving them and their makers a permanence they might otherwise lack.



Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “We are proud to be working with the Incite Project to stage this remarkable and thought-provoking exhibition, which local residents will be able to see for free with a Discovery Card.”

Incite is based in the UK and was started in 2012 by former photojournalist Harriet Logan and her husband. The collection is curated by Tristan Lund, formerly of the Michael Hoppen Gallery.

Exhibition tickets cost £4 for adults, £3.50 for concessions and are free for children 

Lunchtime exhibition tours

Every Thursday, between 2 March to 27 April inclusive, 12.30-13.00, lunchtime exhibition tours will take place. They are free to Discovery Card and ticket holders.

Roving Reporters 

Saturdays 4, 11, 18 & 25 March, 12.00-15.00

Students from Bath Spa University’s BA Acting programme convey the human stories behind the images. Let yourself be transported back in time to revisit how those key moments felt.


Top regional award for Roman Baths.

Top regional award for Roman Baths.

The Roman Baths has been named best large visitor attraction at the South West Tourism Awards. 

The Roman Baths won two awards: a Gold in the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year category and Silver for International Visitor Experience.

roman baths

The Great Bath – part of the Roman bathing complex built around the thermal waters.

Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “More than a million people visit the Roman Baths every year and of these at least 40% come from overseas. This increased footfall is also beneficial to businesses in and around the city and helps boost the local economy as a whole. We are delighted with the two awards, which reflect the huge efforts made by staff to ensure that all our visitors receive an outstanding welcome.”

Last year, the Roman Baths introduced audioguides in four new languages – Dutch, Korean, Polish and Portuguese – bringing the total number of audioguide languages to 12. Audioguides are available free of charge for visitors. Printed information leaflets are also provided in more than 30 additional languages.  In 2016, Mandarin-speaking visitors exceeded 100,000 for the first time, and they now form more than 10% of total visitors.

Recent improvements have made the Roman Baths more accessible for disabled visitors. Four new lifts have been installed, along with handrails, ramps, lowered ticket office counters, wheelchairs for visitors to borrow, and a new accessible toilet. The site has also been made more accessible to visitors on the autism spectrum, with detailed guidance about what to expect provided on the website. 

Due to their popularity, the cast of Roman characters around the Great Bath has been expanded to include Candidina, a lady from Metz (now in France) who is visiting the Temple of Sulis Minerva to pray for a cure for her deteriorating eyesight.

roman baths

The Great Roman Bath

In spring 2017, the East Baths will be updated with new projections, soundscapes and CGI reconstructions showing the Roman Baths at the height of their popularity as a working, living and leisure space. Roman characters of all social classes will interact with each other and visitors will be invited to watch, listen and step into the Roman Baths as they would have looked in the first to fourth centuries.

The South West Tourism Excellence Awards recognise the ongoing quality development of tourism businesses in the region and reward the staff that work in them. They have a rigorous three-stage judging process, and most entrants are visited by a team of mystery shoppers. 

The Roman Baths will now be entered into the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, which will be announced on 24 April 2017 at the Hilton Waldorf Hotel in central London.




A message – and point of view – from Bob Draper…..

‘Come on Bathonians – Get out your angle grinders & welding torches….!

Having seen someone almost swept off their feet on the lower pavement on the north side of George St. by the front overhang of a tourist bus coming up from Queen Square  I wondered who controls these behemoths of Bath’s narrow streets? 


One of Bath’s bright coloured tourist buses on its way down Milsom Street.

 Is it the local council or the Traffic Commissioners?

At every corner & junction these gargantuans of the tourist trade have to stop and wait for opposing traffic to clear so that they can swing out on tho opposite side of the road in order to make the corner. there is an irony in the in the winter months that the load factors are often so low a Smart car would be sufficient!

 For the sake of pedestrian safety maybe buses should fitted with some of these:



Maybe Bath Newseum readers would like to suggest what would be a suitable size of vehicle for Bath’s clogged arteries’?

Bob Draper, Bath.

When plastic is not fantastic.

When plastic is not fantastic.

A Friday ride through Bath lifted my spirits. First because it is not so cold, and even spring-like, during the brief periods when the sun broke through the gloom.


B&NES Graffiti Unit in action! The leaves are gathered to soak up the cleaning fluids and stop them running into the canal.

Pleased also to see the B&NES Graffiti Unit in action – helping the Canals and River Trust deal with a recent bad attack of vandalism along a stretch of  one of the city’s historic waterways.


Looks good but it’s only plastic.

With bulbs starting to sprout greenery above ground level thoughts turn to brighter days in a city famous for its floral displays.


Bath in plastic bloom.

Seemed a shame to pass one established restaurant that prefers to decorate the front of its business with vegetation of the plastic variety. Doesn’t cost much to invest in spring bulbs but hey – who am l to say.


Getting those advertising boards off the floor.

After all the fuss about A boards encroaching across pedestrianised Union Street l had to smile at the sight of a man holding an advertising board high in the air. It’s not blocking the pavement of course.


Cluster of signs at the Union Street end of The Corridor

Though l have to say there’s a bit of A-board pressure developing at the Union Street end of The Corridor and l am not sure attaching posters to Grade 2 listed columns is such a good idea either.

Bath BID were going to experiment with some sort of post bearing the names of multi-business in the vicinity. Wonder what has happened to that?


Empty shops in New Bond Street.

Mixed in with the high spirits – a bit of a low. The number of properties now empty along New Bond Street – and with others due to go.

Finally back onto the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath out of Bath and some new signage has appeared – reminding all two-wheeled users to be aware of who has priority.


The new ‘Pedestrian Priority’ signs that have gone up along the towpath.

As a cyclist myself – though not one of those sleek lycra types – can l just point out that l sometimes have to brake when deciding which side of a speeding dog l am going to try and get past.


Another sign showing people have priority over bikes!

Many dog owners are great with controlling their pets. It’s just the occasional animal – off on an adventure while the owner is elsewhere – and often on a mobile phone – that increases stress.

Respect all round l say in using one of the safest, carbon-monoxide-free routes into the city we all love.

From Rome to the Royal Crescent.

From Rome to the Royal Crescent.

Models of classical buildings tell the story of architecture from Rome to the Royal Crescent in Bath

From Rome to the Royal Crescent launches a special year for Bath, celebrating the 250th anniversary of the Royal Crescent.  It is an exhibition at No. 1 Royal Crescent, tracing the evolution of classical architecture from the ancient monuments of Rome, through the innovation of the Renaissance to the modern designs of 18th century Britain through the beautiful work of Bath-based model maker Timothy Richards.


Royal Crescent – view of a model made by Bath-based model maker Timothy Richards.

His intricate models include a perfect replica of the Royal Crescent itself reflecting its monumental proportions and classical façade.

When the foundation stone was laid for the Royal Crescent in May 1767 British architecture was dominated by a passion for Palladianism.  A fashionable style for both grand country houses and city structures, 18th century Palladianism was inspired by the buildings of ancient Greece and Rome as interpreted by Renaissance architects such as Andrea Palladio, the Italian stone mason from Vicenza who became the most influential architect in the Western world. Through highly detailed models of some of the key buildings in this story of stylistic development, this exhibition will reveal why the iconic Royal Crescent looks the way it does.


Queens House, Greenwich – another perfect replica by Timothy Richards.

Timothy Richards says:

Children love models and react in a fundamental way. They, like us, are delighted by beauty and this exhibition is about beauty. The unique plaster models tell a simple story well, giving not only an understanding of a journey but also revealing the art of great architecture and our abiding love affair and debt to Italy and Rome.”

Great models combine not only passion and understanding but also something of the real building; an art form in their own right.’  

Based in Bath, Timothy Richards specialises in telling the story of architecture through model making and has spent over 25 years refining his craft. The workshop has completed over 150 projects for both private and public commissioners.

In 2013, Richards won the Arthur Ross Award, the US Institute of Classical Architecture and Art prize for artisanship in the classical tradition.

Find out more about the skills and processes behind the extraordinary work of Tim and his team of craftsmen at or visit this unique workshop.


The Pantheon in Rome – as modelled by Timothy Richards.



Exhibition: From Rome to the Royal Crescent

Dates: 11 February until 4 June 2017

Location: No. 1 Royal Crescent, Bath, BA1 2LR

Free with admission to the museum: Adult £10; Child £4; Family £22


An aerial view of Bath featuring the Royal Crescent and Circus.

Be Social: #RoyalCrescent250 @No1Museum

#RoyalCrescent250 celebratory events continue all year, with further exhibitions, debates, community events, guided walks and artworks exploring the enduring power of a single building. Primarily focused in and around Bath Preservation Trust’s three city-centre museums, there are also activities in partnerships with Bath Festivals, RIBA South West and The Natural Theatre Company.