The Holburne Museum
On the impressive approach to The Holburne Museum, the building’s grand façade and gardens provide an inkling of its grandeur and history. The Grade I listed building was originally designed and constructed as a hotel but is now home to a collection of fine and decorative art.
The fascinating pieces that adorn one of Bath’s most beautiful buildings vary from Renaissance treasures to masterpieces by Gainsborough. There is so much to see and explore, and even if you’re a regular visitor you can discover something new with the continually-changing temporary exhibitions.
Upstairs you can experience themes of eighteenth-century culture through porcelain, paintings and sculpture. In the impressive former ballroom, silver and china are laid out as though for a banquet, sparkling under a crystal chandelier, while glamorous members of seventeenth and eighteenth-century society look down from the walls.
Just across the hallway you’ll find the impressive collections of Sir William Holburne, who founded the museum. You’ll get a real sense of what Sir William enjoyed in his art with a strong presence of Golden-Age Dutch works and miniature objects such as gems and portrait miniatures.
The top floor of the museum is home to pieces from the Golden Age of British painting. Discover more about the history of Bath as the works embrace Bath's history as a fashionable and artistic spa city. William Hoare and Thomas Gainsborough lived in Bath and examples of their work can be found at the Holburne. Their paintings are hung alongside canvases by Zoffany, Ramsay and Stubbs amongst others.
The museum also has its own Garden Café, which opens onto the historic Sydney Gardens, offering the perfect place to relax after exploring indoors. The Garden Café prides itself on seasonal, delicious, fresh food and has won a Restaurant and Bar Design Award, showing that inspirational design isn’t confined to the museum’s exhibition rooms.