A fantastic new programme has been unveiled at Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum. Throughout 2020 the Gallery aims to bring the best of the nation’s art to Worcester, including artworks by Rembrandt and Picasso, and a family summer show which wages war on waste.

Saturday 18 January sees the opening of Georgians: the Pride and the Prejudice, where visitors can explore the characters and stories of the Georgian age through sumptuous artworks, beautiful costume and a rare glimpse of a first edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Direct from the Ashmolean Museum, Skyscape opens on Saturday 4 April and includes sublime works by Rembrandt, Durer and Ruskin. On the same day a brand new Museum Shop opens, complete with new merchandise featuring works from the museum’s art collection.

Human Machines, an interactive exhibition by sculptors Johnny White and Amanda Wray

The summer show promises lots of family fun, as ever. The Art Gallery declares a war on waste with Human Machines featuring interactive installations created from found objects and recycled materials. There are also brand new family activity days throughout the year. Showcase Saturdays start on Saturday 25 January with a family-friendly talk and a mini make-and-take. Paint Pots and Sparkles is a new, relaxed creative drop-in session for under-5s beginning on Thursday 16 January.

September sees the opening of The Printed Line, featuring works from the Arts Council Collection by a wide range of artists including Hockney, Picasso and Matisse.

2020 marks 400 years since the voyage of the Mayflower and the Art Gallery & Museum pays tribute to this with Mayflower400, a year-long exhibition exploring the voyage and legacy of The Mayflower through archaeology, costume and fascinating objects from the Museum’s World Cultures collection.

Councillor Mike Johnson, Chairman of the Joint Museums Committee, says: “We are very pleased to bring world-class art to Worcester throughout 2020. It is a rich and varied programme and it is fabulous to have these incredible works of art on our doorstep. We look forward to welcoming visitors old and new to enjoy the exhibitions, events and permanent displays. My personal highlight will be the Mayflower400 exhibition and the opportunity to see rare objects and find out how they came to rest in Worcester, 3,000 miles from their origin.”

There are plenty of talks, events and activities in the new Art Gallery & Museum leaflet which can be picked up from the Gallery or the Tourist Information Centre at the Guildhall – why not browse our website listings too.

You can also follow the Gallery on Twitter or Facebook for up-to-date news @worcestermuseum and www.facebook.com/worcestercitymuseumandartgallery.
Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum is open Monday – Saturday 10.30am – 4.30pm and entry is free.

Exhibition Listings:

11 January 2020 – mid-February 2021
400 years ago, Droitwich man Edward Winslow boarded the Mayflower bound for America.  To commemorate this important anniversary, Mayflower400 explores the voyage and legacy of The Mayflower through archaeology, costume and fascinating objects from the Museum’s World Cultures collection.  The exhibition will shine a spotlight on rare indigenous American and Canadian objects such as a Seal Gut Parka and embroidered cradle board, and explain how these came to rest in Worcester, 3,000 miles from their origin.

Georgians: the Pride and the Prejudice
18 January – 28 March
Explore the characters and stories of the Georgian age through sumptuous artworks, beautiful costume and a rare glimpse of a first edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

4 April – 27 June
Featuring the brooding, the beautiful and the serene, Skyscape is an exciting opportunity to view the popular art of landscape from a new perspective, through a succession of masterpieces that span 500 years of European art.  Includes work by Rembrandt, Durer and Ruskin.

Human Machines
11 July – 12 September
Calling all young engineers, scientists and environmentalists, this summer we are declaring a war on waste. In Human Machines, machine meets biology in remarkable moving and interactive automatons made entirely from waste and upcycled materials. Come face to face with Hypnic Jerk, our eight legged moving piano, eye up our enormous brainy heads and have the time of your life with our giant life clock. Visit our scrapheap lab and help build our giant Iron Man and his barking dog scrappy, sign up to Cyborg school and bring your plastics and recyclables from home to create something new in the gallery. Come and declare war on waste.

The Printed Line
19 September – 14 November
Featuring work by a wide range of artists including David Hockney, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, this exhibition explores how artists have used a variety of printmaking techniques to exploit the potential of the printed line since the beginning of the 20th Century up to the present day. From the thick velvety line of drypoint, to delicate wood engraving and vibrant screen prints, it is a wonderfully eclectic collection of artworks from the Arts Council Collection.

Crafted For You with Worcester Society of Artists 73rd Annual Exhibition
21 November – mid-January 2021
An opportunity to support local artists and craft makers and celebrate the wealth of creative talent in Worcester and Worcestershire. From a hand-picked selection of the county’s finest craft makers to the fabulously eclectic selection of art from Worcester Society of Artists these two exhibitions promise to be a colourful, seasonal celebration of art and craft. Most items are for sale. Purchasing from the exhibitions supports local artists and the museum.

Bite-size talks

Escape into the world of museums for 30 minutes and enjoy fascinating facts about Museums Worcestershire’s collections and exhibitions. Talks start at 1pm, £3 per person. Tickets can be booked at the Art Gallery desk. For a full list of the bite size talks please see www.museumsworcestershire.org.uk

Setting Sail – an Introduction to the Mayflower exhibition
14 January

The Pride and the Prejudice – the stories behind the objects in the Georgians exhibition
11 February

Glove Affair – Worcester’s hand in the global gloving history
10 March

Introducing Skyscape – behind the scenes of our latest exhibition
14 April

Dunkirk and the Worcestershire Yeomanry
Join Colonel Stamford Cartwright MBE TD of Worcestershire Yeomanry Museums Trust ahead of the 75th anniversary of D-Day
5 May

Go Behind the Scenes at the Art Gallery & Museum

28 February & 2 October, 10.30am, 1.00pm, 2.30pm, £8
Behind the Scenes in the Fine Art Collection
Enjoy a glimpse at rarely displayed artworks and learn about the work being undertaken to care for the collection.
To book call 01905 25371

On the first Tuesday of each month 11am – 3pm the doors to the Victorian Steward’s Chemist Shop will be open for you to take a peek inside and hear the fascinating story of how it came from Worcester’s High Street.

New for 2020

Curators’ tours of the exhibitions
Join us for a series of informal, friendly curator’s tours of our new exhibitions. Hear about the objects, artworks and behind the scenes work that go into our exhibitions and ask whatever questions you like.

Meet at the Art Gallery Desk 11.30 (Tours take about 30mins – 1 hour), no booking needed, cost £3

17 February – Objects of Empire
Drop in and meet our Curator as she talks about objects in the collections that came from around the World.

16 March – A Grand Tour
Tour the Georgians: the Pride and the Prejudice exhibition and discover some of the stories behind the objects on display.

20 April – All at Sea
Join the Curator as she talks about her favourite objects in the exhibition and the fascinating stories that have come from the research.

18 May – Skyscape
An informal chat and walkabout the Skyscape exhibition with the Curator

21 September – Walking the Printed Line
An informal walk through The Printed Line for an insight into how this fascinating exhibition was put together.