Brighton Museum & Art Gallery and its exhibitions

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery is one of the country's leading regional museums. In May 2002, transformed by a £10 million redevelopment, it reopened with a complete redisplay of its rich and diverse collections. Exhibits are shown in stimulating contexts with a wide range of interpretative techniques, including the latest interactive information technology.

Subversive Design

Subversive Design was a major exhibition of objects that challenge perceived ideas, contain hidden messages and address social issues and political comment. It included historic objects as well as modern and contemporary items.

Biba and Beyond: Barbara Hulanicki

With its cutting edge, yet affordable, fashion Barbara Hulanicki’s iconic Biba store and label transformed the High Street shopping experience in the 1960s and 70s. Young working women shopped alongside models and celebrities, including Sonny and Cher, Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, Princess Anne, Mia Farrow, Twiggy and Brigitte Bardot. Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Victoriana and Hollywood glamour were all combined to create striking, romantic and sensual designs.

Chinese Whispers

China has fascinated the imagination of the West for centuries. The story of Chinoiserie in Britain is a dazzling example of contact between two very different cultures. English merchants who traded with China returned with silk, porcelain, tea and lacquer. These fabulous objects inspired local craftsmen to produce their own fantastical pieces using the fanciful imagery of an imaginary China.

Rex Whistler: The Triumph of Fancy

This exhibition was the first major retrospective to bring together Rex Whistler’s work in all media, from his days at the Slade School of Art, through the years of his greatest success in the thirties, and culminating in the poignant jeux d’esprit of his final months. It revealed the full extent of Whistler’s achievement in the context of his life and times.


From Sickert to Gertler

This exhibition celebrated the lives of Bobby and Natalie Bevan, generous hosts and patrons of the visual arts, and the paintings that adorned their exceptional home - the gathering place for many creative individuals during the years 1946–74.

Indigo: A Blue to Dye For

This exhibition was shown across the two major museums in Brighton & Hove. It was a survey of the world’s oldest and most distinctive dyestuff, Indigo, and included historical and contemporary indigo-dyed items from around the world in art, craft, fashion and design.

Guys 'n' Dolls

Guys ‘n’ Dolls explored how dolls have been used to reinforce and question the roles that men and women play in society. The exhibition included items not usually associated with the concept of the doll: mannequins, anatomical wax models, the ventriloquist dummy and ‘love’ dolls. The exhibition had three distinct themes: Fashion, Science and Relationships

Fashion and Fancy Dress

This major exhibition displayed the Messel Family Dress Collection 1865-2005, a unique selection of garments drawn from the extensive wardrobe of six generations of one family - and never before exhibited.

Ana Maria Pacheco

Ana Maria Pacheco is an artist of extraordinary diversity, with work ranging from sculpture to painting and printmaking. Drawing on a wide variety of cultural references that include Brazilian folklore, classical myth, mystical Catholicism and medieval satire, she creates works that play with the craft of storytelling.

A Seaside Album: Photographs and Memory

An exhibition on the history of photography in Brighton, complemented by a book of the same name, curated and written by Phillippe Garner, a leading authority on photographs.

Nicholas Sinclair and John Holloway

An exhibition of work by two outstanding artists whose photographs show different aspects of Sussex and the Downs.

Kiss and Kill: film visions of Brighton

Brighton has played a starring role in many films, from seedy glamour and

kiss-me-quick thrills to spivs and back-street gangsters. This exhibition revealed the many different visions of the city that have been created by filmmakers.

Radical Bloomsbury

Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell were two central figures in the Bloomsbury Group. Through the paintings of these artists, Radical Bloomsbury demonstrated their relationship with European avant-garde art, as well as the influence of oriental and exotic culture. This exhibition also provided the cultural and social context in which these Bloomsbury painters worked. 

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