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.
Refuge and Renewal:
Migration and British Art
14th December - 19 March 2020
This major touring exhibition is a timely exploration of the impact of artist refugees on art in Britain, taking a perspective across the last 150 years. The migration of creative individuals and groups has always been a source of innovation and cultural cross-fertilisation. This exhibition looks back to the crucial influence of émigrés who came from eastern and central Europe during the 1930s and 1940s. It explores how they were perceived by their peers in Britain and the extent to which their influence excited or inspired new art including artists such as Joan Eardley, Josef Herman, Ben Nicholson and Kurt Schwitters.
Exhibited artists include Martin Bloch, Naum Gabo, Humberto Gatica, Mona Hatoum, Barbara Hepworth, Samira Kitman, Heinz Koppel, Josef Koudelka, Hanaa Malallah, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Lotte Reiniger, Zory Shahrokhi and Walid Siti. Many of the artists present extraordinary and deeply moving stories of escape from dispossession, persecution, torture, intellectual oppression and war.
What's On Around The UK....
Closing on 26 January 2020
“The first-ever exhibition devoted to the portraits of Paul Gauguin, spanning his early years as an artist through to his later years spent in French Polynesia.”
Until 26 January 2020
“This major exhibition is the first-ever to focus on the untold story of the women of Pre-Raphaelite art. 160 years after the first pictures were exhibited by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1849, Pre-Raphaelite Sisters, explores the overlooked contribution of twelve women to the Pre-Raphaelite movement.”
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.
5th feb - 12th april
“Uncover the art of an age of transformation” “This is the first time that Tate has staged a show devoted to the later 17th century and the first to explore baroque art in Britain. It will be a chance to encounter a rich, sophisticated but overlooked era of art history. Many of the works will be on display for the first time - some borrowed from the stately homes they have hung in since they were made. “From the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 to the death of Queen Anne in 1714, the late Stuart period was a time of momentous change for Britain. From the royal court as the brilliant epicentre of the nation’s cultural life to the rise of party politics, the exhibition will look at the magnificence of art and architecture as an expression of status and influence.”