Abbot Hall

Abbot Hall Abbot Hall is one of Britain’s leading art galleries, set in a Grade I listed Georgian building Abbot Hall is one of the UK’s best small galleries.
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Established in 1962 in a Grade 1-listed Georgian building it has an outstanding collection of British art which explores themes of landscape and identity. The gallery reopened on Saturday 20 May 2023 with a major exhibition by internationally renowned artist Julie Brook. What is it That Will Last? (20 May to 30 Dec 2023) is an exhibition of film, drawing and photography spanning recent works made

by Brook in the Outer Hebrides, in the Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan and Cumbria. The gallery offers inspiring art exhibitions and activities for children, young people and adults to experience first hand. The upstairs galleries command views of the River Kent and Kendal Castle and are perfect spaces for showing contemporary work. It is part of the arts and heritage charity Lakeland Arts. Visit abbothall.org.uk

Last chance to see the Julie Brook exhibition!What is it that Will Last? is on until 30 December. Explore the relationsh...
02/12/2023

Last chance to see the Julie Brook exhibition!
What is it that Will Last? is on until 30 December. Explore the relationship between artist and landscape in this multi-sensory gallery take over.

Abbot Hall will be closed today, Saturday 2 December.
02/12/2023

Abbot Hall will be closed today, Saturday 2 December.

Here’s our top picks from the gift shop!Visit the gallery shop in person or go online to discover a range of unique item...
01/12/2023

Here’s our top picks from the gift shop!

Visit the gallery shop in person or go online to discover a range of unique items, perfect for the festive season.

Here are some of the lovely drawings you have created in the visitor sketchbooks! 🎨We can spot Julie Brook's sculptures ...
30/11/2023

Here are some of the lovely drawings you have created in the visitor sketchbooks! 🎨

We can spot Julie Brook's sculptures and Barbara Hepworth's Moon Form. 👀

Sketchbooks and pencils available at reception and inspiration can be found in the gallery.✨

As a charity we raise income through admissions, membership and donations so we can do the work we are so passionate abo...
28/11/2023

As a charity we raise income through admissions, membership and donations so we can do the work we are so passionate about – reflecting Cumbrian stories through outstanding arts and heritage experiences. Abbot Hall could not exist without the generosity and support of our visitors, supporters and volunteers. Check out the link in bio for ways you can support Abbot Hall and Lakeland Arts this GivingTuesday.

Giving Tuesday UK

Let's take a look at the work of Betty Rea (1904-1965).Rea studied at the Royal College of Art in the 1920s, where she m...
25/11/2023

Let's take a look at the work of Betty Rea (1904-1965).

Rea studied at the Royal College of Art in the 1920s, where she met and befriended the sculptor Henry Moore. In the 1930s, she became involved with several political and artistic organisations which focused on the advocacy of peace and the fight against fascism.

As secretary of the Artists’ International Association, she met her future life partner, the artist Nancy ‘Nan’ Youngman. Together with Rea’s children from her first marriage, they moved to rural Cambridgeshire at the outset of World War II. Rea spent much of the war teaching painting and sculpture to child evacuees who had been re-located for their safety to the countryside.

This above piece titled Girls in the Wind, was purchased by Abbot Hall in 1965, the year of Rea’s death.

Purchased 1965. © the artist's estate. Photo credit: Lakeland Arts Trust

Just one month left to see the Julie Brook exhibition at Abbot Hall!Spanning throughout the gallery, the exhibition inti...
23/11/2023

Just one month left to see the Julie Brook exhibition at Abbot Hall!

Spanning throughout the gallery, the exhibition intimately explores landscape through painting, drawing, sound and film.

1 day to go...Known locally as the Old Grammar School, no's 9 and 11 Church Walk will go to auction Thursday 23 November...
22/11/2023

1 day to go...

Known locally as the Old Grammar School, no's 9 and 11 Church Walk will go to auction Thursday 23 November at 7pm. Auction location: Abbot Hall, Kendal LA9 5AL.

Please contact Armistead & Barnett to register prior to the auction. 01539 751 993 [email protected] Check out the online brochure through our link in bio.

The Grade II listed buildings (sold separately or together) have stunning features and would make a wonderful refurbishment project. We hope the auction will raise crucial funds to support plans for our brilliant collections, exhibitions, community and education programmes.

📣 1 day to go... Known locally as the Old Grammar School, no’s 9 and 11 Church Walk will go to auction Thursday 23 Novem...
22/11/2023

📣 1 day to go...

Known locally as the Old Grammar School, no’s 9 and 11 Church Walk will go to auction Thursday 23 November at 7pm. Auction location: Abbot Hall, Kendal LA9 5AL.

Please contact Armitstead Barnett to register prior to the auction. https://abarnett.co.uk/property-details/rps_arm-KEN230058/

The auction will raise crucial funds to support plans for our brilliant collections, exhibitions, community and learning programmes.

Storing information for processing this enquiry.Adding you to our mailing list to receive newsletters and marketing. Sharing information with our partners only in direct relation to your enquiry.

Attention Kendalians! One of our banners at Abbot Hall has been blown off its pole by the wind and we fear it may be in ...
22/11/2023

Attention Kendalians! One of our banners at Abbot Hall has been blown off its pole by the wind and we fear it may be in the River Kent. We have searched the nearby area, but it might have been carried further downstream by the fast flowing river. If you spot it, please call or email us so we can attempt to retrieve it.
📞 015396 37940
📧 [email protected]

Positive news for Kendal announced today by Westmorland & Furness Council. The Heart of Kendal project, which includes t...
20/11/2023

Positive news for Kendal announced today by Westmorland & Furness Council. The Heart of Kendal project, which includes town centre regeneration schemes will provide a real boost to the town. Part of the initiative aims to transform the riverside path between Lowther Street and Abbot Hall into an active travel route connecting the River Kent to the town centre. This will be beneficial for the local community and visitors to the town.

Read more about the announcement here https://www.westmorlandandfurness.gov.uk/news/2023/heart-kendal-project-receive-ps135million-levelling-fund

Artist Julie Brook is at Abbot Hall today talking visitors through her exhibition What is it That Will Last? on until 30...
17/11/2023

Artist Julie Brook is at Abbot Hall today talking visitors through her exhibition What is it That Will Last? on until 30 December.


We’re super excited to welcome you to our sold out In conversation talk with Julie Brook and Robert Macfarlane. To make ...
16/11/2023

We’re super excited to welcome you to our sold out In conversation talk with Julie Brook and Robert Macfarlane. To make this the best experience possible, we will be closing at 3:30pm on Friday 17 November.

Kendal Mountain Festival

Julie Brook will also be at gallery 8 at Abbot Hall tomorrow between 10am-12pm!

Meet artist Julie Brook this week! ⛰️ 🧑‍🎨Friday: Julie Brook will be at Abbot Hall from 10am-12pm. Answering your questi...
15/11/2023

Meet artist Julie Brook this week! ⛰️ 🧑‍🎨

Friday:
Julie Brook will be at Abbot Hall from 10am-12pm. Answering your questions and signing copies of her new book. 📖 🖊️

Sunday:
Walk and Talk event at Holker Hall from 12:30pm. Learn about the artist’s work on a guided walk around her sculpture. Free soup and sandwiches included! 🥣 🥪

🔗 For more info visit: https://lakelandarts.org.uk/whats-on/

Izzy is taking full advantage of Abbot Hall’s creative space and coffee bar! With free WIFI, delicious hot drinks and ca...
14/11/2023

Izzy is taking full advantage of Abbot Hall’s creative space and coffee bar!

With free WIFI, delicious hot drinks and cakes, it’s the ideal place for some quiet time.

Bring your crafts, your laptop, your dog, or simply pop in for a brew.

It's artist Celia Paul’s birthday! Today we are going to take a look at Paul’s work and a painting we have in our collec...
11/11/2023

It's artist Celia Paul’s birthday!

Today we are going to take a look at Paul’s work and a painting we have in our collection: ‘Study: My Mother and the Cross’.

The artist’s work mainly consists of portraiture. Her paintings exclusively feature family and friends, with her mother and four sisters being her most frequent subjects.

Here, Paul’s mother is portrayed gazing out of a window. The symbolism of the cross is implied by the bars of the window, alluding to her mother’s beloved Christian faith.

The portraits of her mother are usually painted in dense layers of oil paint, giving them a monumental presence. However, in this study, Paul uses thin washes and rapid brush marks, resulting in a spontaneous and expressive image.

Paul describes her work as autobiographical as it is through her paintings of loved ones that she grapples with her own identity as a sister, daughter and mother.

Celia Paul, *Study: My Mother and the Cross*, 2001, oil on canvas, acquired with the aid of a grant from the MLA/V&A purchase grant fund, 2007. © The Artist.

What would you ask Julie Brook if you had the opportunity? Well now’s your chance! Join us on 17 November, 10am-12pm, fo...
10/11/2023

What would you ask Julie Brook if you had the opportunity? Well now’s your chance! Join us on 17 November, 10am-12pm, for our informal Meet the artist event with Julie Brook.

You’ll have an opportunity to leisurely wander around the gallery featuring works from Julie Brook, flick through Brook’s book published with Lund Humphries, chat to Brook in gallery 8, and get your book signed.

Find out more: https://bit.ly/492Kyed

Save the date:
📌 Meet the artist: Julie Brook
📅 Friday 17 November
⏱️ 10am - 12pm
📍 , Kendal, LA9 5AL

📸 Photo credit: Robin Zahler Design + Photography

Want to see one of Julie Brook’s outdoor sculptures in person? Holker Hall & Gardens  is currently displaying Out of the...
05/11/2023

Want to see one of Julie Brook’s outdoor sculptures in person? Holker Hall & Gardens is currently displaying Out of the ground, a thread of air in the Deer Park.

This sculpture was commissioned by Lakeland Arts in collaboration with the Holker Group and Burlington Stone to coincide with Brook’s What is it That Will Last? exhibition currently on display at Abbot Hall.

It is free to view the sculpture in the Deer Park. Admission to the formal gardens of Holker Hall is £10.50, for Hall and gardens £14.50, please see Holker Hall's website for more details. Parking is free.

Need a little escape from reality? See the world from artist Julie Brook’s perspective throughout Abbot Hall‘s gallery v...
04/11/2023

Need a little escape from reality? See the world from artist Julie Brook’s perspective throughout Abbot Hall‘s gallery via film, sound, photography, and drawing. Discover Brook’s deep and immersive relationship with the landscapes she inhibits and how this inspires her artwork. Use the Bloomberg Connects app to gain more insight into the artwork on display.

Take a break from exploring in our Coffee bar in the creative space where you can enjoy a delightful hot drink and a sweet treat. There’s a selection of book’s available to read while enjoying the peace in the creative space.

Express your creativity in our community sketchbooks which can be collected from the front desk.

Abbot Hall is open Wednesday-Saturday between 10am-4pm.
Plan your visit: https://bit.ly/3Cw0JBV

Do you want to be part of The Knotted Project Theatre Company ’s Forge Festival 2024? The Knotted Project are offering 3...
02/11/2023

Do you want to be part of The Knotted Project Theatre Company ’s Forge Festival 2024? The Knotted Project are offering 3 Early Career Artists a £1,000 commission & a specialist package of support to build their networks & create a unique live performance for !

🕺 How to apply & more info here: www.theknottedproject.co.uk/forge-festival/

📆 Deadline to apply: 5pm on 24th November

Do you want to be part of  ’s Forge Festival 2024? The Knotted Project are offering 3 Early Career Artists a £1,000 comm...
02/11/2023

Do you want to be part of ’s Forge Festival 2024?

The Knotted Project are offering 3 Early Career Artists a £1,000 commission & a specialist package of support to build their networks & create a unique live performance for Forge Festival 2024!

🕺 Find out how to apply and more information via our link in bio.

‼️Deadline to apply: 5pm on 24 November.

Today is the birthday of influential artist L.S Lowry.Known for painting scenes of life in the industrial districts of n...
01/11/2023

Today is the birthday of influential artist L.S Lowry.

Known for painting scenes of life in the industrial districts of northwest England in the mid-20th century, Lowry is one of Britain's most renowned artists. He developed a distinctive style of painting and is best known for his urban landscapes peopled with human figures, often referred to as "matchstick men".

Pictured is L.S Lowry (1887-1976), ‘Canal and Mill Scene’ (1929) pencil on paper, Lakeland Arts. Copyright of the artist's estate

Gifted to the collection in 1987.

Today we’re looking at the work of Eric A Quinn. Pictured is his beautifully detailed painting The Pigeon Fancier, Ulver...
31/10/2023

Today we’re looking at the work of Eric A Quinn. Pictured is his beautifully detailed painting The Pigeon Fancier, Ulverston.

Lakeland Arts looks after 22 paintings by the artist, many of which were kindly gifted from the artist to Abbot Hall. His works include a range of townscapes and depictions of rural villages in West Cumbria.

His use of elongated perspective and choice of ordinary life as his subject matter have led to comparisons between his work and that of L S Lowry. This piece shows a pigeon fancier in conversation with a neighbouring allotment owner. Through the silhouettes of his flock of airborne pigeons, the distant outline of the Hoad Monument can be seen.

Work currently not on display.
Gift from the artist, 1985. © the copyright holder. Photo credit: Lakeland Arts Trust

On this day in 1741 Angelica Kauffman was born.Born in Switzerland, Kauffman made her name as an artist in Britain, beco...
30/10/2023

On this day in 1741 Angelica Kauffman was born.

Born in Switzerland, Kauffman made her name as an artist in Britain, becoming one of only two female founding members of the Royal Academy in 1768, when she was still in her twenties.

In this painting titled ‘Modesty’ (1770), the blushing young woman shyly avoids the viewer’s gaze, embodying the idea of modesty. This work is typical of the allegorical subjects that Kauffman exhibited at the Royal Academy.

At a time when female artists were forbidden from accessing a comprehensive art education, Kauffman’s skill and long career is remarkable.

Gifted in 1973.
Image credit: Lakeland Arts

Have you seen Julie Brook's 'Out of the ground, a thread of air' outdoor sculpture at  Deer Park? This is an extension o...
29/10/2023

Have you seen Julie Brook's 'Out of the ground, a thread of air' outdoor sculpture at Deer Park? This is an extension of the What is it That Will Last exhibition currently on display at Abbot Hall.

You have a rare opportunity to experience one of Brook’s immense works in person as they are usually created in remote locations. Walk up the steps and witness Cark-in-Cartmel from a different perspective.

Discover more: https://bit.ly/julie-brook-outdoor-sculpture

"Lovely environment with welcoming staff. Thoroughly enjoyed Julie Brook's immersive exhibition, including her sketchboo...
28/10/2023

"Lovely environment with welcoming staff. Thoroughly enjoyed Julie Brook's immersive exhibition, including her sketchbooks and large-scale drawings. I thought the incorporation of artworks from the Abbot Hall collection, such as a Turner watercolour, Kurt Schwitters collage, Frank Auerbach drawing and Barbara Hepworth sculpture, all specially selected by Julie because they were inspirational to her, added to the experience. Lovely coffee and shop too!" - visitor

Plan your visit to Abbot Hall: https://bit.ly/3Cw0JBV

“I have come back again to take in the films, Julie is an amazing woman. It is tremendous what you are doing here, we ar...
27/10/2023

“I have come back again to take in the films, Julie is an amazing woman. It is tremendous what you are doing here, we are so lucky to have a gallery that breaks the mould in Kendal.”

What is it That Will Last? by Julie Brook will be on display at Abbot Hall until 30 December 2023. Find out more here: https://bit.ly/about_Julie_Brook_exhibition

Want to learn more about the art pieces on display? Download your free digital Bloomberg Connects: https://bit.ly/Abbot-Hall-free-digital-guide

As part of Lancaster University’s Internship Programme with Lakeland Arts, student Grace Ayodeji has started the long-te...
22/10/2023

As part of Lancaster University’s Internship Programme with Lakeland Arts, student Grace Ayodeji has started the long-term process of decolonising our collection.

Grace studied at Redeemers University, Osun State, Nigeria studying African, African American and African literature. She has a rich understanding of histories relating to slavery, colonialism, and subjugation, making her well-informed to uncover hidden narratives within the collection and inform our programme.

We love hearing about your experience exploring the Julie Brook What is it That Will Last? exhibition. ⭐️ “Lovely exhibi...
21/10/2023

We love hearing about your experience exploring the Julie Brook What is it That Will Last? exhibition.

⭐️ “Lovely exhibition, better than anything i've seen in London.”

⭐️ “I have come back again to take in the films, Julie is an amazing woman. It is tremendous what you are doing here, we are so lucky to have a gallery in that breaks the mold in Kendal.”

⭐️ “That was beautiful. What an amazing artist - you just get drawn into it. Really enjoyed it!”

⭐️ “The exhibition made me cry!”

Julie Brook What is it That Will Last? will be on display until 30 December 2023. Grab tickets online or from the front desk.

Disappointed you missed out on the Julie Brook in conversation with Robert Macfarlane talk? Julie Brook has added more d...
18/10/2023

Disappointed you missed out on the Julie Brook in conversation with Robert Macfarlane talk? Julie Brook has added more dates!

📚 21 October at 7pm: at An Lanntair as part of the The Hebridean Book Festival 2023.

🎥 October 29th at 2.30pm: at Highland Cinema.

📸 Taken by Robin Zahler Design + Photography. Photograph of Julie Brook on her 'Out of the ground, a thread of air' outdoor sculpture at Holker Hall & Gardens.

Discover the coffee bar and creative space at Abbot Hall ☕ 🎨Escape the rain this weekend and enjoy a hot drink and tasty...
07/10/2023

Discover the coffee bar and creative space at Abbot Hall ☕ 🎨

Escape the rain this weekend and enjoy a hot drink and tasty cake.

With free WIFI, it is also the ideal space to work on your laptop. Escape the hustle and bustle and top up on delicious refreshments throughout the day!

Looking for a special gift? Art UK have a wide selection of prints taken from the Lakeland Arts collection. Give the gif...
06/10/2023

Looking for a special gift?

Art UK have a wide selection of prints taken from the Lakeland Arts collection. Give the gift of a masterpiece!

Discover beautiful prints featuring work by artists such as Kurt Schwitters, George Romney, Ethel Walker, Winnifred Nicholson and JMW Turner.

Pictured: Amaryllis, Winifred Nicholson (1967). Lakeland Arts. © Trustees of Winifred Nicholson. Photo credit: Lakeland Arts



We are super excited for the Kendal Torchlight festivities 🥳. What activity are you most excited to do?Find out what’s o...
23/09/2023

We are super excited for the Kendal Torchlight festivities 🥳. What activity are you most excited to do?

Find out what’s on here: www.kendaltorchlightcarnival.co.uk

📸 Credit: Kendal Torchlight

22/09/2023
Lakeland Arts has collected significant work by Scottish artists, including this painting by William George Gillies titl...
21/09/2023

Lakeland Arts has collected significant work by Scottish artists, including this painting by William George Gillies titled ‘Haytime’ (1952).

Gillies was born in East Lothian and studied at the Edinburgh College of Art in the 1920s, where he would later become the principal. He was a leading figure in a group of artists known as the Edinburgh School, whose defining characteristic was a bold use of colour and texture.

His love of the countryside manifested itself in his vibrant painted landscapes, influenced by the Scottish Colourists, and post-impressionist painters like Henri Matisse.

Acquired in 1976. © The Estate of Sir William George Gillies, RSA, RA. Image credit: Lakeland Arts

Purchased for the collection in 1976.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Abbot Hall and the Julie Brook exhibition. Thought provoking, immersive a...
19/09/2023

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Abbot Hall and the Julie Brook exhibition. Thought provoking, immersive and engaging work. Kendal is lucky to have this beautiful art gallery and we look forward to future visits. Friendly staff and a great cafe for coffee and cake too!”

Abbot Hall is open Wednesday to Saturday 10am-4pm. Plan your visit today and make unforgettable memories at Abbot Hall.

Today we are celebrating the influential twentieth-century European artist and poet, Jean (Hans) Arp.Born on this day in...
16/09/2023

Today we are celebrating the influential twentieth-century European artist and poet, Jean (Hans) Arp.

Born on this day in Strasbourg 1886, Arp spent his early career working in a wide range of primarily two-dimensional media, from prints and collages to wall reliefs.

He had early success as an artist and was a principal contributor to the Dada movement, through which he met his first wife, the artist Sophie Taeuber (1889-1943), and his close friend Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948).

From the early 1930s onwards, Arp began making three-dimensional works in bronze and stone, translating the poetic, biomorphic curves of his drawings into sculptural form and shaping a movement in ‘organic abstraction’.

This late work, made a year before Arp died, reflects his close association with the Surrealists throughout his life. Arp was particularly interested in unlocking the subconscious, which is explored through many of his work’s titles, including this one, ‘Poupée-Basset’ roughly translating as ‘Dachshund-Doll’.

Purchased with the assistance of the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends of Abbot Hall, 1971.

Acquired with the assistance of the V&A purchase grant fund and the friends, patrons and benefactors of Abbot Hall, 1971.

Are you intrigued by Julie Brook’s artistic process? Gain even more insight into what inspires Brook during an intimate ...
15/09/2023

Are you intrigued by Julie Brook’s artistic process? Gain even more insight into what inspires Brook during an intimate talk with Robert Macfarlane taking place on 17 November.

Find out more about Julie Brook in conversation with Robert Macfarlane talk: https://bit.ly/3r6yPKJ

This event is part of the Kendal Mountain Festival and our Women, Land and Art talk series.

What is it That Will Last? Julie Brook in conversation with Robert Macfarlane - 17 Nov 2023, 17:30pm, Kendal, Abbot Hall

"Exhibitions of Brook’s work in the UK are rare. This summer brings not only the unveiling of the Holker Hall commission...
11/09/2023

"Exhibitions of Brook’s work in the UK are rare. This summer brings not only the unveiling of the Holker Hall commission but an exhibition at Abbot Hall near Kendal, What Is It That Will Last, also organised by Lakeland Arts, which looks back on the last ten years of her practice, accompanied by a new monograph of the same name."

Read Susan Mansfield's full review on The Fleming Collection:

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We’re delighted to announce that Lakeland Arts has been awarded £80,000 grant from the  Collections Fund, run by the  to...
06/09/2023

We’re delighted to announce that Lakeland Arts has been awarded £80,000 grant from the Collections Fund, run by the to bring people closer to our collections.

The grant for Lakeland Arts is awarded for a two-year project that rethinks collaborative working practices at Abbot Hall art gallery in Kendal. The project will explore new strategies to connect the gallery and its collection with the community.

Address

Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kirkland
Kendal
LA95AL

Opening Hours

Wednesday 10am - 4pm
Thursday 10am - 4pm
Friday 10am - 4pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm

Telephone

+441539637940

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Our Story

Winner of the Art Gallery of the Year Cumbria Life Culture Awards 2017, Abbot Hall Art Gallery is a Grade 1 listed building with a national reputation for showing contemporary and historical works.

Conveniently located in Kendal town centre, Abbot Hall enjoys a pretty riverside setting. Just a stone’s throw from the leafy Abbot Hall Park and Kendal Parish Church, it makes for an inspiring day out for all.

On permanent display at Abbot Hall is an impressive collection of eighteenth and nineteenth-century art. In the elegant period rooms visitors will discover a selection of works by Cumbrian born artist George Romney, one of the greatest eighteenth-century portrait painters. The centre piece is what many perceive to be his masterpiece, the beautiful The Gower Family: The Children of Granville, 2nd Earl Gower (1776-7).

Also permanently exhibited is The Great Picture – an impressive triptych commissioned by Lady Anne Clifford (1590 – 1678) in 1646. It depicts the story of her life-long struggle for, and untimely succession to, the family inheritance.

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