Welcome to The Higgins

Contact us

The Higgins Bedford

Castle Lane
MK40 3XD

t: 01234 718618

f: 01234 718619

e: thehiggins@bedford.gov.uk

Contact Us >

You are here: Home Page / Exhibitions-1


Exhibitions image of Fanny Cornforth by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (detail)

A Walk in the Woods – A Celebration of Trees in British Art

Image credit: George Price Boyce (1826 – 1897) At Binsey near Oxford, 1862, watercolour on paper.


30th September 2017 - 25th February 2018

Wixamtree Gallery - Free Entry


This autumn, The Higgins Bedford pays homage to the tree with a new exhibition celebrating the role of trees and woodland in British landscape painting. Drawn from the world-famous Cecil Higgins Art Gallery Collection, some forty watercolours, drawings and prints from the past two centuries will be on show and will include works by John Constable, John Sell Cotman, Edward Lear, Samuel Palmer, Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland and Lucian Freud. The show will highlight the importance and enduring popularity of trees in art, and explore various themes which have evolved in artists’ depictions of nature: magical and dreaming trees, trees in the countryside, the pleasures of woods and the lure of the exotic.

The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with Christiana Payne, Professor of History of Art at Oxford Brookes University.


Click here to see related events


Break The Stigma - Art display challenging prejudice and discrimination around mental health

The Higgins Bedford celebrated World Mental Health Day on October 10th with the launch of our new mindful art display, created by service users and people with a lived experience of mental health issues. The artwork was created over a series of workshops in partnership with Dr Ben Salmons; Break the Stigma Campaign lead at East London NHS foundation and Damon Poulton; local artist.


The art, and creative writing/poetry about the works, will be on display from 10 October outside the Settlement Gallery.


To see other activities at the Higgins relating to wellbeing click here.


Sankofa: Bedfordshire's Black History Uncovered


“It is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind.”

30th September- 25th February 2018

Connections Gallery - Free Entry


Sankofa is an African word from the Akan tribe in Ghana it is based on a mythical bird and symbolizes this people’s quest for knowledge. To the Akan, it is this wisdom in learning from the past which ensures a strong future.


This exhibition will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Black History Month in the UK and explore Bedfordshire’s own Black History through the inspirational people within the African and Caribbean community who have been instrumental in their leadership and achievements.

Click here to see more details


Edward Bawden and his Studio


Edward Bawden and His Studio

11th February 2017 - 28th January 2018

Edward Bawden Gallery

Free Entry

Edward Bawden and his Studio, a new exhibition showcasing the work of influential British artist and designer Edward Bawden (1903–1989)

During the eight years prior to his death in 1989, the renowned watercolourist, printmaker, illustrator, designer and former Official War Artist Edward Bawden donated the contents of his studio to Bedford. From the walls of his house, the insides of cupboards and the drawers of his plan chest came adverts for Fortnum & Mason, Ealing Comedy posters, plates for Wedgwood, letters and photographs; an entire life’s work. This new exhibition will focus on Bawden’s life in the studio, through his letters, photographs and most importantly his work.

Find out more >


Bedford Choral Society - Celebrating 150 years

From 25th April we will be celebrating Bedford Choral Society's 150th anniversary with a special display in the Great Bedfordians gallery featuring the talented people connected with the Society. Founded in 1867 as Bedford Musical Society, many local people have taken part, organised and enjoyed performing, including Cecil Higgins.


Goldings - Celebrating 150 years

In July we will be celebrating 150 years of Goldings Ironmongers with a display in the Somewhere in England gallery. We will be celebrating the owners and staff and displaying some historic items from the shop storeroom.


Click here to see what's coming next.

Click here to look back at our previous exhibitions.