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Going to Town

Going to Town - 200 Years of Bedford's Art

10 July 2021 - 20 March 2022

Wixamtree Gallery, Free Entry


Going to Town – 200 Years of Bedford’s Art celebrates artists' views of Bedford and the surrounding area with a number of watercolours, oils and prints from the past two centuries, some of which haven’t been seen by the public eye in several decades. The exhibition includes artworks by JMW Turner, Dora Carrington, Thomas Fisher and Stanley Orchart, highlighting their fascination of the town and River Great Ouse.


J R Cormack - The White Horse


From Marianne Norman who painted St Paul’s Square from the window of her parents sweet shop over 100 years ago to Roberta Hart’s depiction of market day full of 1970s fashions, visitors are invited to take a walk into Bedford town through 200 years of artists’ eyes and see long forgotten buildings as well as familiar sights.

 Bedford Regatta


The Embankment and its picturesque views of The River Great Ouse is one of the highlights of Bedford, with artists over the centuries capturing the beauty of the river from Bromham to Cardington Lock in their work. Visiting artists' such as JMW Turner and Thomas Hearne focused on views of the Town Bridge, whilst local artist, Emily Stannard, portrayed the quieter spots at the bridge in Newnham.


Click here to pre-book your FREE timed entry ticket online to visit The Higgins Bedford. If you are unable to book online, please telephone the Box Office on 01234 718044 - line available Monday to Friday from 11am to 3pm. 


Image 1: John Ross Cormack (1871-1949), The White Horse, Harpur Street, 1922-1929 © The Higgins Bedford

Image 2: Unknown Artist, Bedford Regatta, 1851 © The Higgins Bedford




To accompany the exhibition, a new trail and i-spy activity is now available for children to enjoy. Find out more here.


See the locations for some of the paintings featured in the exhibition in this new Story Map. Each marker shows where we think the artists' stood in Bedford to paint their pictures. View the Story Map here.


Enjoy a series of videos taking you behind the scenes of the exhibition:


Framing in the Art Store

Behind the Scenes - Dora Carrington

Hanging in the Gallery

Exhibition Highlight - Clifford Knight

Exhibition Highlight - Marianne Norman