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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.


Talks and Tours


Samuel Palmer - The Bellman

Image: Samuel Palmer (1805-1881) - The Bellman (from Il Penseroso), 1881 © Cecil Higgins Collection.



Dreams and Nightmares Gallery Tour

Wednesday 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.


To book your place, please use our online booking system. Enter promotional code HIGGINS22 to remove the booking fee. Alternatively, you can telephone 01234 718044 or visit Bedford Central Box Office at Harpur Suite, Harpur Square, Bedford, MK40 1LE.


Dreams and Nightmares Exhibition Catalogue


The Dreams and Nightmares fully illustrated catalogue is available from the Museum Shop at £12.99. Published in partnership with Oxford Brookes University and written by co-curators Christiana Payne and Victoria Partridge, the catalogue details the featured art and artists, giving an in-depth view of the works in the exhibition including William Blake's The Good and Evil Angels Struggling for Possession of a Child and JMW Turner's Great Falls of the Reichenbach.




Co-Curator Victoria Partridge, Keeper of Fine and Decorative Art at The Higgins Bedford, said “The beautifully designed catalogue will offer visitors, not only a deeper insight into the exhibition, but a memento of the amazing art collection we have here in Bedford”.