We're delighted to announce that the Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library will be open on Wednesday evenings until 8pm and on Sundays from 11am - 4pm from Sunday 3rd July 2016.
The new opening hours have been agreed by Preston City and Lancashire County Council as part of the Re-imagining the Harris project which is funded by
Arts Council England. The project is bringing the library, museum and art gallery together for the first time in forty years and developing exciting plans to improve the building and its services over the long term.
Recent public consulation showed a desire for longer museum opening hours, with a particular wish for Sunday opening.
Preston’s Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library is looking to the future with a bright, new vision for our much loved building.
Ever since opening our doors in 1893, the Harris has been the centre of arts, culture and learning for generations of Prestonians and Lancastrians.
Inscribed at the very top of the glorious, Grade I listed building are the words “the mental riches you may here acquire, abide with you always”, a legacy which we are keen to build on in the 21st century.
Launching public consultation on the new vision for the Harris, Jon Finch, Project Leader for the Re-Imagining the Harris Project, said:
“We are creating a new, ambitious future for the Harris. A future with the Harris right at the heart of a creative Preston and at the centre of a thriving Lancashire.
The Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library will be closed for two mornings in February and March to enable staff to take part in essential training and development as part of the exciting Re-imagining the Harris project.
On Tuesday 9 February and Wednesday 9 March all services in the Harris will be closed until 12.30pm. There may be further temporary closures during April and May to continue the development of the Re-Imagining project. Full details will be posted on the www.harrismuseum.org.uk homepage.
Carved proudly on the outside of the Grade 1 listed Harris building is the inscription, ‘The Mental Riches You May Here Acquire Abide with You Always’. The Victorian founders’ vision was that the Harris Free Library, Museum & Art Gallery would be the focus of culture, arts and learning, an embodiment of aspirations in late 19th century Preston.
The Re-imagining the Harris project is inspired by those founders’ early ambitions, whilst also responding to the needs of the people of the city and the region for the next generation. The project is embarking on a journey which will transform the Harris and its relationships with its audiences. The aim is to create a seamless, high-quality offer, with audience led museum, art gallery and library services and cultural activities presenting the Grade 1 listed building and its collections more effectively.
Lancashire County Council has developed proposals for the future of its library services and the museums that it runs in Lancashire, following the announcement that it needs to save £262million over the next five years.
The proposals do not directly affect the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, which is owned and managed by Preston City Council, but may affect the Harris Library which is run by Lancashire County Council.
The Museums consultation takes the form of the opportunity to complete an online expression of interest in a Museum site between 4 Jan and 25 Mar 2016.
If you require more information please email Lancashire County Council here.
The Harris Museum & Art Gallery has won financial support from a locally-based charity to help bring a 194-year old work of art back to life.
Art Aid has donated £1,000 to help conserve the painting, ‘View of Preston from Penwortham Hill’ which was painted by artist John Jenkinson in 1821. Without specialist treatment the painting will decay and the image will be lost forever.
The oil on canvas work is currently housed in the Harris Museum’s art store awaiting conservation, but curators are now optimistic that it will be back on display in 2016.
Chief Executive of Arts Council England, Darren Henley OBE, met cultural leaders from Lancashire’s independent, charity, university and local authority sectors on Tuesday at a unique Arts Exchange event, organised by Arts Lancashire at the Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library in Preston. Over 130 arts organisations and artists came to hear his keynote speech and take part in sessions including discussion of the important contribution to the £3.68billion Lancashire tourism industry made by arts organisations and how the arts can better grasp the opportunities of the digital age.
The Harris Museum & Art Gallery has been shortlised for the Lancashire Tourism Awards Cultural Venue of the Year 2014.
The only tourism-focused awards in Lancashire, which are run by Marketing Lancashire, the county’s destination management organisation, will take place on Thursday 5 November in the spectacular Empress Ballroom at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.
STOP PRESS: Sadly, the Harris didn't win. The award went to the Whitaker Museum in Rossendale. We hope to be back next year with a bigger, better application!
The Harris Museum & Art Gallery has won a prestigious Collections Trust Award for our innovative Money Matters project to better catalogue, display and interpret the 12,500 coins in its collection.
Funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund and the
Friends of the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, judges said that Money Matters, which won the ‘Collections Practice’ award, was ‘a solid project with creative engagement and long-term legacy’. Money Matters Project Officer, Matt Ball, and Curator of History, James Arnold, collected the award at the Collections Trust’s Annual Conference at the Natural History Museum in London.
Our Visitor Services Supervisor, Howard Robinson, recently celebrated a fantastic 25 years at the Harris Museum. Howard will be known to many of our visitors as a smiling and helpful presence in the galleries and elsewhere around the building, relied on by staff and public alike. Here is Howard receiving his long service award from Mayor of Preston, Cllr Nick Pomfret.
Preston City Council is now inviting applications from local arts organisations and groups to apply for funding of up to £3000 to undertake projects that support Preston's Cultural Framework.
The deadline for applications is 19 April 2015.
Preston’s Harris Museum & Art Gallery has just been announced as one of sixteen more visual arts organisations across the UK to join the contemporary visual arts network, Plus Tate.
The sixteeen join the original cohort of eighteen partners, plus the four Tate galleries, to virtually double the size of the group.
Thursday 12 February 2015 marks the start of a major 16-month long contemporary art programme at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery.
The programme features commissions from some of the most exciting contemporary artists working today and group/solo exhibitions from emerging and renowned UK and international artists and the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award winning commission by Nathaniel Mellors.
The Harris Museum & Art Gallery, with artist Nathaniel Mellors, has won the prestigious Contemporary Art Society Annual Award 2014.
Now in its sixth year, the £40,000 prize, generously supported by the Sfumato Foundation, is one of the country's highest value art awards.
A special launch event was held last week to officially launch the Cultural Framework for Preston 2014-18 to the arts community.
The result of extensive consultation with the cultural sector, community organisations and local people living and/or working in Preston, the Cultural Framework sets out the city’s aspirations for culture in Preston over the next four years.
Free Your Mind are a not-for-profit community group that has formed from a small group of adults that were participants on previous creative projects at the Harris.
The key aim of the group is to raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health and wellbeing in the wider community, through active engagement within arts and culture.
The draft Cultural Framework for Preston has just been published and this is your chance to comment on it!
When you visit a museum or art gallery, you normally go inside to see the exhibitions. Harris Flights aims to turn that on its head by making the gallery part of the art.
A new commission by In Certain Places will see a dramatic temporary staircase, known as the Harris Flights, transform the façade of the iconic Grade 1 Listed Harris Museum & Art Gallery in Preston’s city centre.