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Changing Times: A Century of Modern British Art


Changing Times: A Century of Modern British Art


15 October 2022 – 16 April 2023
Sir William Harpur, Wixamtree, Connections Galleries – Free Entry

The exhibition is supported by The Friends of The Higgins Bedford.



 Changing Times


Eric Ravilious (1903 – 1942), Second-hand Furniture and Effects, 1938
© The Ingram Collection of Modern British and Contemporary Art.
Photographer © John-Paul Bland


Changing Times: A Century of Modern British Art brings together more than 80 works from the Ingram Collection of Modern British and Contemporary Art and Higgins’ own collection, with paintings, works on paper and sculpture from some of the biggest names in British art. From Higgins also come a dozen works on paper by major European artists. Changing Times: A Century of Modern British Art will be the first large-scale exhibition since the reopening of The Higgins in 2013.


Among the highlights are several powerful monumental sculptures, including Riace Figure (1986) and Walking Madonna (1981) by Elisabeth Frink. There are lithographs by Eric Ravilious from his High Street series and a pair of his watercolours, Observation Post (1939) and Rye Harbour (1938). Lucien Freud’s stunning 1945 drawing Botanical Gardens hangs alongside works John Craxton’s exquisite Yellow Estuary Landscape (1943).

A Cezanne lithograph, Large Bathers (1896), introduces a section devoted to figures in the landscape, which includes Edward Burra’s Hop Pickers Who’ve Lost Their Mothers (1924), John Minton’s Hop Pickers (1945), the early Paul Nash watercolour Fruit Pickers (1916) and The Bathing Pool (1923) by Ethel Walker, a highly regarded interwar artist who deserves to be better known. The same is true of Frances Hodgkins, whose work is also featured in Changing Times.


Another section explores the artist’s self-portrait, with David Hockney’s tongue-in-cheek etching Artist and Model alongside works by Kathe Kollwitz, William Roberts, John Bratby and John Bellany. Elsewhere the emphasis is on experiment and play, with Mark Gertler’s eerie still life The Doll (1914) and a lithograph from Marc Chagall’s Arabian Nights (1948) suite. Hockney prints depicting water can be seen alongside Howard Hodgkin’s colourful etching of Hockney’s swimming pool. Bold colour abounds in works by Sybil Andrews, Sonia Delaunay and Victor Pasmore, to name a few.


Changing Times is curated by James Russell, whose previous exhibitions include Ravilious (2015) and Edward Bawden (2018), both at Dulwich Picture Gallery.


The exhibition is accompanied by a major new book - Revisiting Modern British Art, published in association with The Ingram Collection and edited by Jo Baring (Director, The Ingram Collection). In this wide-ranging and thought-provoking publication, published in October by Lund Humphries, experts in their field, including Changing Times curator James Russell, address specific aspects of British art of the 20th-century. Complemented by a range of striking images, this publication succeeds in showing the strength of the British artistic tradition while also encouraging the reader to rethink and explore the existing narrative.


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‘Changing Times’ Exhibition Trail for LGBT+ History Month 2023 ‘Behind the Lens’, available from Tuesday 7th February to Tuesday 28th February.

Follow the new trail in the ‘Changing Times’ exhibition to find the stories of the young queer New Romantics artists. Their beautiful pastoral scenes were an antidote to the second world war which affected them all in different ways. Featuring works by John Craxton, Keith Vaughan, Edward Burra and John Minton the trail is a new way to look at this popular exhibition.



‘Changing Times: Old Stories in Modern Art’

Follow the link below to an Art Uk curation of artworks featured in our brilliant ‘Changing Times’ exhibition which has been written by our Gallery Assistant and Curatorial Volunteer Tom MacKinnon.

This curation explores how five of the featured artists have re-interpreted Christian, classical and Islamic tales to make them resonate with a modern audience.