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Joining The Friends of The Higgins Bedford


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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.


The Friends provide support towards The Higgins Bedford by:

  • Contributing fund to support the work in the museum and galleries
  • Fostering general interest in The Higgins Bedford
  • Providing volunteers to enhance visitor experience and deliver more activities and events


Membership Rates

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


How To Join the Friends

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.


Download the latest membership application form here.


Visit the Friends of the Higgins website.


The Friends of the Higgins Bedford Lectures


All live lectures have had to be postponed for the foreseeable future, but you can still enjoy Friends Lectures online via Zoom. All lectures start at 7pm and members will be sent the zoom link. 


Hugh Belsey - The Huguenots in Art

Tuesday 19th January


In 1598 Henri IV gave freedom to the Protestant communities of France, but in 1685 Louis XIV revoked his grandfather's edict and drove those same communities out of France and into neighbouring countries. These communities included outstanding craftsmen including silversmiths, textile manufacturers, sculptors and painters who revolutionised British workmanship. Many Friends will remember Mr Belsey from his previous brilliant lecture on the Grand Tour.


Dr Anne Daye - Dance in the Time of Shakespeare

Tuesday 2nd February


Many Friends will have attended Dr Daye's on Regency dance. In this virtual lecture, Dr Daye will discuss the dances of the Elizabethan period. From the courtly Galliard and stately Pavane - both introduced from continental Europe - to dances like jigs and branles enjoyed at humbler gatherings, Dr Daye will discuss the dances closely associated with the customs and festivals of Elizabethan England.


David Wooton - Albert Goodwin

Tuesday 23rd February


Trained by the Pre-Raphaelites and encouraged by John Ruskin, Albert Goodwin became one of the most significant British landscape artists in the period following the death of Turner. From the cathedral towns of England to the mountains of Switzerland, and from the cities of Italy to the hills around Cairo, he captured much of the beauty of the world with sensitivity and splendour. David Wooton has written a monograph on Goodwin, 'In Search of of Sun and Shadow' published in 2019. 


Michael Croker - Painting Portraits

Tuesday 16th March


Michael Croker will be well-known to many Friends; he has for many years been Director of Art at Bedford School and he continues to paint and exhibit locally. Michael obtained his Fine Art degree from Norwich School of Art and in 1987 was Artist-in-Residence at Dulwich Picture Gallery. He is an accomplished portrait painter and has exhibited in a number of national exhibitions including with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.


Jim Rockhall - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

Tuesday 6th April


Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu (1814-1873) was an Irish writer of Gothic tales, mystery novels and horror fiction. He was a leading ghost story writer of his time, and was central to the development of the genre in the Victorian era. His novella 'Carmilla' (1872) is often credited with having inspired Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' and M R James described Le Fanu as 'absolutely in the first rank as a writer of ghost stories'. 


Dr Brian Whitton - John Tunnard (the Sandy born 20th Century Artist)

Tuesday 11th May 


John Tunnard was born at Sandy, Bedfordshire, in 1900, the son of painter J C Tunnard. He studied textile design at the RCA, and then worked as a textile designer in the 1920s as well as playing semi-professional jazz. In 1929 he began to paint and soon came under the influence of the Surrealist Movement, particularly the work of Miró. In the 1930s he moved to Cornwall where he spent the rest of his life panting enigmatic proto-Surrealist works and teaching at Penzance School of Art.