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You are here: Home Page / Exhibitions-1 / Dreams and Nightmares

Dreams and Nightmares


Dreams and Nightmares

12th October 2019 - 22nd March 2020

Wixamtree and Connections, Free Entry

Discover artists’ depictions of dreams and nightmares in this exhibition drawn from the internationally renowned Cecil Higgins Collection.


Explore spiritual visions, spectral images, fairies, witches and romantic dreams. Works include Samuel Palmer’s dreams of the village of Shoreham, Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s visions of the flames of hell and the literary nightmares of Henry Moore’s Greek myths. Nightmares become reality in Pablo Picasso, Kathe Kollwitz and Francisco Goya’s depictions of war whereas fairies and goblins run riot in the watercolours of Richard ‘Dickie’ Doyle and Arthur Rackham. There is something for everyone in Dreams and Nightmares.


Working in collaboration with Christiana Payne, Professor of History of Art at Oxford Brookes University.


Image: William Blake (1757–1827) – The Good and Evil Angels Struggling for Possession of a Child c.1793


Events, Talks and Tours


Dreams and Nightmares Gallery Tour

6th November, 15th January, 4th March, 12pm – 12:30pm

£3.00, £2.50 for concessions – Booking Essential

Join the Keeper of Fine and Decorative Art, Victoria Partridge, for a lunchtime tour of the highlights in the exhibition.


Lunchtime Lecture with Professor Christiana Payne – The Dreams

Wednesday 27 November, 12pm – 1pm

Free Entry – Booking Essential

Join co–curator Christiana Payne, Professor of History of Art at Oxford Brookes University, for a lunchtime lecture about the dream–like images in the exhibition. Sponsored by Oxford Brookes University.


British Sign Language – Exhibition Tour and Workshop with Access Bedford

Saturday 7 December, 11am – 1pm

Free Entry – Booking Essential

Join Peter Cooke for a Deaf BSL tour of Dreams and Nightmares, followed by an art workshop. This is a British Sign Language only event – no oral instruction will be given.


Lunchtime Lecture with Victoria Partridge – The Nightmares

Friday 13 December, 12pm – 12:45pm

Free Entry – Booking Essential

Explore the nightmarish images of the exhibition in a lunchtime lecture.


Study Day

Saturday 1 February, 11am – 4pm

£12 + £3 Transaction Fee – Book by Thursday 30 January

Tickets available via Bedford Corn Exchange Box Office

Explore further the theme of Dreams and Nightmares in art with talks by co–curators Victoria Partridge and Professor Christiana Payne, as well as Dr David Boyd Haycock and Dr Nicholas Tromans. Lunch and refreshments provided. Sponsored by Oxford Brookes University.

To book your place, please email thehiggins@bedford.gov.uk or telephone 01234 718618