Founded in 1906 by four artists, all from the RWA, our first president, Jacques Emile Blanche, had been a pupil of Manet.
From the beginning, we've had a very “modern” outlook – more modern than other art institutions in Bristol at the time. We've also been involved with other arts, with music, poetry, drama and crafts.
An exhibition of painting and sculpture has been held every year from 1906 to the present day (except 1912-13, 1961 and 2017), at first in the RWA until 1922, then in Charlotte Street until 1960, and in the RWA again until 1986, moving afterwards to the the Bristol School of Art and more recently to the vaults at Colston Hall and the Undercroft of the Victoria Methodist Church in Whiteladies Road.
Today we maintain upwards of 250 members and hold events nearly every week of the year.
For £30 a year you can become a member. You can enjoy our rich programme of events and your entry fees for next year's Summer Exhibition will be at the members' prices, which are £4 an entry cheaper.
What's On Around The UK.......
21 September –
8 December 2019
Antony Gormley will take over our Main
Galleries for our most ambitious show this autumn.
Perhaps best known for his Angel of the
North installation near Gateshead, Gormley is one of the UK’s most celebrated sculptors. From pocket workbooks and drawings, to large scale installations
using iron, kilometres of coiled metal, seawater and
clay, this exhibition will span his 45 years of practice
Leonardo - Experience a
9 November 2019 -
12 January 2020
An immersive exhibition exploring Leonardo's
masterpiece 'The Virgin of the Rocks'. The Gallery becomes a painting studio, an imagined chapel and a room-sized experiment in this immersive exhibition that leads you
through the mind of Leonardo da Vinci to explore his masterpiece, ‘The Virgin of the
The secrets of Leonardo’s masterpiece are revealed in four distinct spaces. Each space
invites you to look at it in a new way. Discover the secrets only science and conservation can
reveal in this projection-filled space which unlocks the mysteries of how ‘The Virgin of the Rocks’ was painted and reveals the lost
composition hidden beneath the painted surface.
in Real Life
Until 5th Jan 2020
In Eliasson’s captivating installations you
become aware of your senses, people around you and the world beyond.
Some artworks introduce natural phenomena
such as rainbows to the gallery space. Others use reflections and shadows to play with the way we perceive and interact with the world.
All but one of the
works have never been seen in the UK before.
Mark Leckey: O’ Magic Power of
Until 5th Jan 2020
Composed of new and existing work, this
exhibition is an atmospheric, theatrical
experience of spectral visions, sound and
Leckey transforms Tate Britain’s galleries with a life-size replica of a motorway bridge on the M53 on the Wirral, Merseyside, where the artist grew up. The bridge – a recurring motif
in his work – is the setting for a new audio play.