New Higgins exhibition ‘Going to Town’ celebrates 200 years of Bedford’s art

Going to Town – 200 Years of Bedford’s Art
10 July 2021 – 20 March 2022, Wixamtree Gallery, Free Entry

An exhibition celebrating artists’ views of Bedford will launch at the Higgins on Saturday 10 Julyv, inviting visitors to take a walk into Bedford town through 200 years of artists’ eyes and see long-forgotten buildings as well as familiar sights.

Going to Town – 200 Years of Bedford’s Art will feature watercolours, oils and prints from the Cecil Higgins collection, some of which have not been seen in public for several decades.

The exhibition includes artworks by JMW Turner, Dora Carrington, Thomas Fisher and Stanley Orchart, highlighting their fascination with the town and River Great Ouse.

There will be some very familiar sights among the exhibits, as well as some long-forgotten buildings and even some 1970s fashion, featured in Roberta Hart’s depiction of a busy market day.

Naturally, The Embankment and its picturesque views of The River Great Ouse are featured, with artists over the centuries capturing the beauty of the river from Bromham to Cardington Lock in their work.

Visiting artists such as JMW Turner and Thomas Hearne focused on views of the Town Bridge, whilst local artist, Emily Stannard, portrayed the quieter spots at the bridge in Newnham.

The White Horse, on the site of the former M&S building John Ross Cormack (1871 – 1949), The White Horse, Harpur Street 1922-1929 (copyright: The Higgins Bedford)

Councillor Doug McMurdo, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, said: “Over the years, Bedford has been more than fortunate to experience a high standard of art, through artists both local and visiting. This new exhibition celebrates some of the great things that make Bedford Borough the place it is today.

“Make sure that if you do decide to visit The Higgins Bedford, you follow all guidance on slowing the spread of COVID-19, including adhering to the ‘Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air’ advice.”

The exhibition is free to visit and will run until 20 March 2022. A series of events and activities will accompany the exhibition later in the year. Visit the Higgins Bedford website for more information and updates.

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