Art around Kirklees Museums

Find amazing artworks from Kirklees Collections all around our Kirklees Museums, not just at the art gallery

Art work in Kirklees museums

The art in the museums

See stunning paintings at Bagshaw Museum, Batley; Tolson Museum, Huddersfield and Red House in Gomersal.

Tolson Museum, Huddersfield

From Roman finds to textiles; from birds to transport, Tolson Museum is a treasure house of the fascinating, the curious and the amazing and presents a vivid and intriguing picture of the area and its people, from pre-history to present day. Artwork on display includes the stunning William Cowen 'View of Huddersfield', 1849 and other paintings relating to the exhibitions.

Commissioned by the Ramsden family, the View of Huddersield, 1849 by William Cowen painting in the 'Ramsden's Town' gallery shows Huddersfield from Longley Hall shortly after the building of the railway. The Ramsden family association with Huddersfield began in 1531 and in their era it became the main town in the district, establishing itself as "one of the principal seats of the woollen trade in the Kingdom." The fortunes of the Ramsdens and of Huddersfield were bound for over 300 years until they sold their estate to Huddersfield Corporation in 1920 for £1,300,000. William Cowen was a landscape painter born in Rotherham. He exhibited at the Society of Artists and the Royal Academy.

You can more of William Cowens work on the ArtUK website.

The 'Old Cloth Hall'Anonymous Artist huge painting shows the old Huddersfield Cloth Hall which was demolished in 1930, being replaced by a cinema. The cupola, bell and clock were re-erected at Ravensknowle Park in front of Tolson Museum. The painting can be seen in Tolson's Textiles gallery.

Bagshaw Museum, Batley

This magnificent Victorian gothic mansion is a former mill owner's house set in 36 acres of stunning parkland and ancient woodland. The museum contains unusual and exciting collections from all around the globe.

Permanent displays include: 'The Kingdom of Osiris', an atmospheric Egyptology gallery where dramatic lighting effects help to recreate the interior of a tomb; two Batley local history galleries including stories about iconic institutions such as Fox's Biscuits and Batley Variety Club; and the 'Spirit of South Asia' gallery.

The 'Victorian Picture Gallery' features a selection of Victorian artworks from the Kirklees Museums & Galleries collection including:

  • 'Moonlight Scene near Leeds' by John Atkinson Grimshaw (pictured) Leeds-born artist John Atkinson Grimshaw painted many much loved night scenes like this one, which are among the most atmospheric paintings of the nineteenth century.
  • 'Cut off with a Shilling' by Edmund Blair Leighton
  • 'Time, Death & Judgement' by George Frederic Watts (Detail at bottom of page)

Red House Museum, Gomersal

Red House is a delightful Grade II* Listed former woollen cloth merchant's home with important Brontë connections. Charlotte Brontë visited often and featured Red House and the Taylor family who lived there in her novel Shirley. Wander around atmospheric period rooms set in enchanting restored 1830s period gardens: and see Bronte and local history exhibitions in restored outbuildings.

Various artworks adorn the walls of the period rooms. In the elegant dining room one painting in particular made a strong impression on Charlotte Brontë when she visited Red House and she described it in her novel Shirley. The painting which hangs over the fireplace is Eruzione del Vesuvio, 1794 by Olivio d'Anno. It was brought back from Italy by Joshua Taylor.

  • 'a night-eruption of Vesuvius; very ardently it glows' (Charlotte Brontë, Shirley, 1849)