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The Higgins Bedford

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Join the friends of The Higgins BedfordJoining The Friends of The Higgins Bedford

The Friends organisation plays an important part in the life of the art gallery and museum, and individual members enjoy an excellent range of benefits; joining the Friends will put you at the heart of The Higgins Bedford.


How The Friends support The Higgins Bedford:

  • By contributing funds to support the work of The Higgins Bedford
  • By fostering general interest in The Higgins Bedford
  • By providing volunteers


Membership Rates and How To Join

  • £25 annual individual membership
  • £40 annual joint membership
  • £10 annual student membership


To become a member of the Friends, please complete and return the application form, and either fill out the standing order form, or send us your cheque. The subscription year runs from 1st September.


You can download the latest membership application form here.

Lectures 2019

Meetings start promptly at 7.30pm at The Higgins Bedford. Places are limited so please arrive promptly.

Tickets - Members £4, Non-Members £9


Alan Waltham - The East London Group

Tuesday 12th February

In the 1920s, a group of working-class men, including a haddock-smoker and a painter-decorator, began an art club at Bethnal Green Men’s Institute in London’s East End. What became known as the East London Group expanded and produced luminous, sometimes haunting, realist paintings and attracted tutors including Walter Sickert.


Christopher Brown - Working with Edward Bawden

Tuesday 19th February

Christopher Brown studied illustration at the Royal College of Art, where he met and later assisted the master of the linocut, Edward Bawden. Christopher now works as an illustrator, printmaker and artist, and teaches at Liverpool School of Art and Design, Central St Martins and Camberwell College of Arts. He will talk about his time with Bawden and how the former’s working practices have influenced his own career.


Dr Angela Smith - Sofonisba Anguissola (c. 1532-1625)

Tuesday 5th March

Sofonisba Anguissola’s lengthy career included fifteen years painting portraits at the court of King Philip II of Spain. She was celebrated in her lifetime: her work was admired and discussed by Vasari and when she was in her 90s, Anthony Van Dyck sought her advice. This lecture describes Anguissola’s life and explains how her oeuvre is growing as she is now recognised as the author of paintings hitherto attributed to male artists.


Felicity Irons - Rushwork

Tuesday 2nd April

Working from a converted granary and magnificent ancient barn on a farm within a stone’s throw of the Black Cat Roundabout, Felicity Irons has, almost single-handedly revived the ancient art of making rush matting. Felicity will tell us a little about the history of the material, explain how she harvests rushes from local rivers from her punt, and show us how matting is made.


David Fowler - The Pyghtle Works, Baillie Scott & Sir Albert Richardson

Tuesday 7th May

Interest in ‘The Pyghtle Works’, a Bedford joinery business founded in the late 19th century, has recently been stimulated by the acquisition by the Higgins of an Arts and Crafts mantel clock made there. Local historian David Fowler will discuss the part the Pyghtle Works played in making Bedford a centre for the production of architect designed cabinetry and metalware.