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Friday, February 17, 2012

Holburne Museum of Art in Bath

The building housing the Holburne Museum in Bath was designed by Charles Harcourt Masters and built in Bath stone between 1795–6 as the Sydney Hotel. The building was intended as a social gathering place rather than as a hotel in the modern sense. During the years 1913–16, the building was converted by the architect Sir Reginald Blomfield to become the Holburne Museum. The Holburne Museum has recently added a contemporarily styled extension.


Most of the current collection of the Holburne Museum of Art was formed by Sir Thomas William Holburne (1793-1874). In 1882, this collection of over 4,000 objects was bequeathed to the people of Bath by Holburne’s sister, Mary Anne Barbara Holburne (1802-1882). From the beginning, the collection was intended as “the nucleus of a Museum of Art for the city of Bath”. Since opening to the public in 1893, the Holburne Museum of Art has acquired a further 2,500 objects.


The Holburne Museum of Art's collection boasts a strong selection of English 18th century portraits, including five by Thomas Gainsborough. Gainsborough spent 16 years working in Bath before moving to London.


The Holburne Museum of Art is in Sydney Pleasure Gardens, Sydney Place, in Bath. The Grade I listed building is at one end of Great Pulteney Street opposite Pulteney Bridge. Admission is free. Visitors to the Holburne Museum may also want to visit the nearby Dundas Aqueduct or ride on a Pulteney Cruiser down the River Avon.

The Holburne Museum
Great Pulteney Street
Bath, BA2 4DB
Tel: 01225 388569

The Holburne Museum map

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