Talks, Tours & Events for Adults

friends01Whether you're interested in art, history, fashion or ceramics and glass, we have a wide variety of talks, tours and workshops on offer!

Choose from:
A Taste of the Harris - bite-sized lunchtime introductions to the Harris collections, art styles, history and more. Selected Wednesdays and Saturdays from 12.30pm (30 minutes),

Explore ... In-depth talks, tours and workshops. Look out for talks by special guests as well as Harris experts. Most Thursdays and/or selected Saturdays, from 2pm. (45 minutes - 2 hours)

Specials -
extend your knowledge of art or history with talks from academics, historians or artists, or celebrate auspicious dates/festivals at one of our takeover days.

Group Tours - We can also arrange an exclusive tour especially for your group for which there is a small charge.  Please contact Steve Walker on 01772 906194 to find out more.

Tour: What Makes Preston Special?

Saturday 28 March

A Taste of the Harris

Join us for a free tour of our history gallery, Discover Preston, and find out what makes our city unique and innovative.

What time? 12.30-1pm
Cost? Free
Do I need to book in advance? No, just drop in

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The Varieties Show

Harold Offeh, High Bar, 2015

Saturday 28 March

Special event
Performances by: Mark Bleakley, Mexico, Harold Offeh, Florence Peake, plus a gymnast from City of Preston Gymnastics Club

Speakers: Adam Sutherland (Grizedale Arts), Gavin Wade (Eastside Projects), Harold Offeh, Clarissa Corfe
 
Featuring performances from artists in The Varieties exhibition alongside presentations by two of the UK’s leading curators:
Gavin Wade, Director at Eastside Projects Birmingham, and
Adam Sutherland, Director at Grizedale Arts, plus
Harold Offeh and Clarissa Corfe, curators of The Varieties exhibition
 
1pm TALK
Clarissa Corfe
The Varieties exhibition. 2nd Floor
Programme introduction
 
1.10pm PERFORMANCE
Florence Peake, Swell the Thickening Surface Of
with Harold Offeh
Starting in The Varieties exhibition and moving around the museum

Florence Peake will perform an adaptation of her work Swell the Thickening Surface Of with Harold Offeh drawing on aspects of his practice. The performance takes the singular action of shaking to see how far the meaning and reading of one gesture can be stretched. Moving on a circuit through the museum, Peake and Offeh explore how this action shifts their own perception, energy and state of being. Swell the thickening surface of was first developed at TINTYPE and David Roberts Art Foundation.
Florence Peake is an Artsadmin Associate Artist.
 
1.40pm PERFORMANCE
High Bar Gymnasts
Museum Café

Gymnasts from the City of Preston Gymnastics Club will perform the high bar in the museum’s atrium café. The gymnasts are training for the Women’s Artistic and Petit Elite Programme. Preston will be hosting an international friendly in May 2015.
 
2pm TALK
Gavin Wade
The Varieties exhibition, 2nd Floor

Wade will present a collection of thoughts drawing on previous projects including The 5 Acts of Art and
Spectator T.

He is an artist, one of the UK’s leading curators and Director of Eastside Projects. In 2010 he received the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Breakthrough Fund Award for exceptional cultural entrepreneurs. Eastside Projects (EP) is an exhibition space with many differences. It is a free, public space that is being imagined and organised by artists. EP commission and present experimental contemporary art exhibitions, and propose ways in which art may be useful to society.
 
2.40pm PERFORMANCE
Mexico
2nd Floor Balcony

Mexico will host the interlude for the afternoon. Interested in the role of ephemera, merchandise and social media and the way it engages the original experience, Mexico will offer a range of bespoke refreshments. The work uses 3 texts as a starting point, Do Novelty Products Reveal the Future of Design? by Sam Jacob (Art Review 2014); Music - Immateriality – Value, by Diedrich Diederichsen (2010 translation by James Gusson) and Revenue Stream: Is Spotify the Music Industry’s Friend or its Foe? by John Seabrook (2014 The New Yorker).
 
3.20pm PERFORMANCE
Harold Offeh, Serpentine Performance
Front of the museum. View from Market Square

Harold Offeh will perform a serpentine dance on the neo classical balcony outside the Harris Museum and Art Gallery. The dance is a homage to the nearly forgotten late 19th century variety dance performance documented by filmmakers such as the Lumiere brothers. It was usually performed by a female dancer spinning in a flowing dress that created a spectacle of shape and colour. Offeh’s presentation will cover some contextual materials and the process of making the works for The Varieties.
 
3.40pm PERFORMANCE
High Bar Gymnasts
Museum Café

Gymnasts from the City of Preston Gymnastics Club will perform the high bar in the museum’s atrium café. The gymnasts are training for the Women’s Artistic and Petit Elite Programme. Preston will be hosting an international friendly in May 2015.
 
3:55pm TALK
Adam Sutherland, A View From the Minotaur
The Varieties exhibition. 2nd Floor

Adam Sutherland will discuss parables from the Grizedale programme, trying to remember why, when where and what. He is the Director at Grizedale Arts. He was previously Director at art.tm, a visual arts organisation in rural Scotland. He leads Grizedale Arts organisation’s core development – curating off-site projects, writing and pig farming. Current priorities include the development of a collection of British craft and design for Lawson Park refurbishment.
 
4.40pm PERFORMANCE
Mark Bleakley, Three Movements of Funny
The Varieties exhibition. 2nd Floor

Mark Bleakey will perform Three Movements of Funny in which he re-enacts and breaks down actions and gestures of stand-up comedians. Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen and Richard Pryor’s habitual actions are repeated, exhausted and reframed. The archetypal setup of the mic stand is used as a break, and in various versions banal actions such as eating a Creme Egg or text is read aloud.
 
5pm TALK                                                                                             
Harold Offeh
The Varieties exhibition. 2nd Floor
Offeh’s presentation will cover some contextual materials and the process of making the works for The Varieties.
 
5.20pm TALK
Panel discussion
The Varieties exhibition. 2nd Floor

Find out more about The Varieties exhibition >>

What time? 1-6pm
Cost? Free
Do I need to book in advance? No, drop in

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Meet the Costume Champions

Items from Behind the Scenes exhibition

Wednesday 1 April

Explore the Harris

Always wondered what Harris volunteers do? This is your chance to meet our costume volunteers and join in with their work by padding a hanger. You can also find out more about the textile care projects on display in the
Behind the Scenes exhibition.

Ideal for anyone with an interest in how musuems care for collections and the Harris' fashion collection, and students (of all ages!) of fashion, costume and museum studies.

Any local artists or students who wish to draw from the collection are welcome to join us – pencils and paper can be provided.

What time? 2-4pm
Cost? Free
Do I need to book in advance? No, just drop in.

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Introduction to Ceramics

Ceramics from the Harris collection

Thursday 2 April

Explore the Harris
If you want to know your porcelain from your earthenware this will be the perfect workshop for you. It’s also a chance to see fantastic pieces from the store not usually on display.

Meet our curator and explore the different processes of making and decorating ceramics. Using items from the collection you be able to feel the difference between different materials and techniques and learn how to handle fragile ceramics in a museum collection.

Our fabulous Volunteer Nirmala will also be sharing her experience in how she has begun to make pottery and experiment with glazing, using some surprising materials along the way.

What time? 2-3pm
Cost? Free
Do I need to book in advance? Yes, places are limited, please book at the shop or on 01772 905414

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What's in the Box?

Shoes from the Harris Collection

Thursday 9 April

Explore ...

Every month, meet us on the 2nd floor balcony to discover what's in the box! The Harris' Decorative Art Curator will bring out a selection of boxes from the museum store ... there could be some surprises as some of the boxes may not have been opened for some time!

Get an insight into the work of a curator;  help us investigate, condition check and document the treasures contained in the boxes and learn some of the 'tricks of the trade' in storing and repacking the boxes correctly.

What time? 2-4pm
Cost? FREE
Do I need to book in advance? No, just drop in

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Egyptian Balcony Tour

Photo of the Egyptian balcony

Saturday 11 April

Explore the Harris
See a part of the Harris not usually open to the public! This is your chance to travel to the top of the building and see John Somerscales' impressive friezes that adorn the Egyptian balcony and find out about how they ended up in the Harris!


What time? 2-2.45pm
Cost? FREE
Do I need to book in advance? Yes, call 01772 905414 or book your place at the museum shop.
Suitable for?Ages 12+

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Talk: Splendid World of Samplers

Sampler from the Harris collection

Thursday 16 April

Explore the Harris

Come and explore the Splendid World of Samplers with our Curator.
If you love embroidery this is definitely the talk for you!
We will explore the history of Samplers, looking at the makers, the techniques and why these beautiful embroidery samples were made. It’s a great chance to see pieces from the collection, which date between 1600s – 1930s up close.

What time? 12.30-1pm and 2-2.45pm
Cost? Free
Do I need to book in advance? No, just drop in

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Art Tour: Sculpture-Not Set in Stone

A sculpture from the Harris' collection

Wednesday 22 April

A Taste of the Harris

Join us for a guided tour of our art galleries paying particular attention to some of the sculptures on show, including a work by Sir Jacob Epstein.

What time? 12.30-1pm
Cost? Free
Do I need to book in advance? No, just drop in.

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Tour: The Harris - An Architectural Gem!

Photo of outside of the Harris building

Thursday 23 April

Explore ...
Find out more about the fascinating architecture and history of the striking Grade 1 listed Harris building which houses our fabulous collections.

What time? 2-2.45pm
Cost? Free
Do I need to book in advance? No, just drop in.

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Tour: What Makes Preston Special?

Saturday 25 April

A Taste of the Harris

Join us for a free tour of our history gallery, Discover Preston, and find out what makes our city unique and innovative.

What time? 12.30-1pm
Cost? Free
Do I need to book in advance? No, just drop in

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Women's Football in Preston

Football display in Discover Preston gallery

Thursday 30 April

Explore the Harris

Join Gail Newsham, Dick, Kerrs Ladies historian, author of In A League of Their Own! (and self-confessed biggest Dick, Kerrs Ladies fan ever!) for a very special talk about the history of The Dick, Kerr Ladies 1917-1965, Football's best kept secret!

What time? 2-3pm
Cost? Free
Do I need to book in advance? No, just drop in

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Meet the Costume Champions

Items from Behind the Scenes exhibition

Wednesday 6 May

Explore the Harris

Always wondered what Harris volunteers do? This is your chance to meet our costume volunteers and join in with their work by padding a hanger. You can also find out more about the textile care projects on display in the
Behind the Scenes exhibition.

Ideal for anyone with an interest in how musuems care for collections and the Harris' fashion collection, and students (of all ages!) of fashion, costume and museum studies.

Any local artists or students who wish to draw from the collection are welcome to join us – pencils and paper can be provided.

What time? 2-4pm
Cost? Free
Do I need to book in advance? No, just drop in.

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Egyptian Balcony Tour

Photo of the Egyptian balcony

Saturday 9 May

Explore the Harris
See a part of the Harris not usually open to the public! This is your chance to travel to the top of the building and see John Somerscales' impressive friezes that adorn the Egyptian balcony and find out about how they ended up in the Harris!


What time? 2-2.45pm
Cost? FREE
Do I need to book in advance? Yes, call 01772 905414 or book your place at the museum shop.
Suitable for?Ages 12+

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Tour: Behind the Scenes exhibition

Clothes from the Harris' collection

Wednesday 13 May

A Taste of the Harris

If you're fascinated by the conservation techniques used to look after clothes, or curious about how museums preserve their collections for future generations, then join us for this guided tour of our fashion and textiles exhibition, Behind the Scenes: The Secret Life of Clothes.

What time? 12.30-1pm
Cost? Free
Do I need to book in advance? No, just drop in

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What's in the Box?

Shoes from the Harris Collection

Thursday 14 May

Explore ...

Every month, meet us on the 2nd floor balcony to discover what's in the box! The Harris' Decorative Art Curator will bring out a selection of boxes from the museum store ... there could be some surprises as some of the boxes may not have been opened for some time!

Get an insight into the work of a curator;  help us investigate, condition check and document the treasures contained in the boxes and learn some of the 'tricks of the trade' in storing and repacking the boxes correctly.

What time? 2-4pm
Cost? FREE
Do I need to book in advance? No, just drop in

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Late Night at the Harris

The Harris at night

Friday 15 May

Special Event

Especially for Museums at Night, the Harris will come alive after hours for a night of performancesMuseums at Night logo, workshops, fun and general mayhem!

Keep checking back for announcements of what's on nearer the time!

What time? 5-9pm
Cost? Free
Do I need to book in advance? No, just drop in

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Scent Bottle tour

Scent Bottle Collection

Saturday 16 May

A Taste of the Harris
Find out more about Mrs French, scent bottle collector extraordinaire, and some of the 2,700 bottles she collected!

What time? 12.30-1pm
Cost? Free
Do I need to book in advance? No, just drop in.

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Tour: What Makes Preston Special?

Saturday 23 May

A Taste of the Harris

Join us for a free tour of our history gallery, Discover Preston, and find out what makes our city unique and innovative.

What time? 12.30-1pm
Cost? Free
Do I need to book in advance? No, just drop in

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Meet the Costume Champions

Items from Behind the Scenes exhibition

Wednesday 3 June

Explore the Harris

Always wondered what Harris volunteers do? This is your chance to meet our costume volunteers and join in with their work by padding a hanger. You can also find out more about the textile care projects on display in the
Behind the Scenes exhibition.

Ideal for anyone with an interest in how musuems care for collections and the Harris' fashion collection, and students (of all ages!) of fashion, costume and museum studies.

Any local artists or students who wish to draw from the collection are welcome to join us – pencils and paper can be provided.

What time? 2-4pm
Cost? Free
Do I need to book in advance? No, just drop in.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

What's in the Box?

Spider scent bottle from the Harris' collection

Thursday 11 June

Explore ...

Every month, meet us on the 2nd floor balcony to discover what's in the box! The Harris' Decorative Art Curator will bring out a selection of boxes from the museum store ... there could be some surprises as some of the boxes may not have been opened for some time!

Get an insight into the work of a curator;  help us investigate, condition check and document the treasures contained in the boxes and learn some of the 'tricks of the trade' in storing and repacking the boxes correctly.

This month is a scent bottle special edition of What's in the Box - your chance to hold and examine some of our extraordinary scent bottles!

What time? 2-4pm
Cost? FREE
Do I need to book in advance? No, just drop in

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Egyptian Balcony Tour

Photo of the Egyptian balcony

Saturday 13 June

Explore the Harris
See a part of the Harris not usually open to the public! This is your chance to travel to the top of the building and see John Somerscales' impressive friezes that adorn the Egyptian balcony and find out about how they ended up in the Harris!

Today's tour is themed around how the Egyptians dealt with death!


What time? 2-2.45pm
Cost? FREE
Do I need to book in advance? Yes, call 01772 905414 or book your place at the museum shop.
Suitable for?Ages 12+

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Tour: The Harris - An Architectural Gem!

Photo of outside of the Harris building

Thursday 18 June

Explore the Harris

Find out more about the fascinating architecture and history of the striking Grade 1 listed Harris building which houses our fabulous collections.

What time? 2-2.45pm
Cost? Free
Do I need to book in advance? No, just drop in.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Harris Museum and Art Gallery

Market Square,
Preston
PR1 2PP 

T 01772 258248 (office 10am-4pm)
T 01772 905414 (event bookings)
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Opening hours:

Mon                    11am - 5pm
Tues – Sat          10am - 5pm
Closed Sundays & Bank Holidays


FREE entry

This week's events

Sat 28th, 11-11.40am
Family Egyptian Balcony Tour
Ages 7+ accompanied by an adult
£1/50p book on 01772 905427

Sat 28th. 12.30-1pm
Tour: What Makes Preston Special?

Sat 28th, 1-5pm
The Varieties Show

Tues 31st, 1.30-3.30pm
Hands On at the Harris
Ages 5-12

Wed 1st April, 1.30-3.30pm
Wonderful Wednesdays
Ages 5-12

Wed 1st April, 2-4pm
Meet the Costume Champions

Thurs 2nd April, 10.30am-12.30pm
Arty Explorers
Ages 5-12

Thurs 2nd April, 2-3pm
Introduction to Ceramics

Sat 4th, 1.30-3.30pm
Hands On at the Harris
Ages 5-12

Click on the titles for more details or click here for more events

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