Holburne Museum of Art

Holburne Museum of Art

...follow a history of art set in a beautiful building in central Bath

Set in a grade I listed building by Sydney Pleasure Gardens in Bathwick, Bath that was originally the Sydney Hotel built in 1795-96, the heart of the Holburne collection was built up by Sir Thomas William Holburne in the early to mid 19th century.


Sir Thomas William Holburne, known as Sir William, lived from 1830 at 10 Cavendish Crescent, Bath having inherited a baronetcy title on the death of his older brother at the Battle of Bayonne in 1814. With this it is believed he inherited a lot of the family heirlooms and set about developing the collection with the addition of silver and porcelain, Italian bronzes, old master paintings, books and furniture, portrait miniatures along with smaller items such as glass, gems, coins, seals and snuff boxes.
 
In 1882, after his death in 1874, his sister Mary bequeathed the collection to the people of Bath from whence it became the start of the museum of art for the people of Bath. The collection stood at some 4000 items and since then it has grown with the addition of a further 2500 items, some of which have also been bequeathed to the museum.
 
The museum has recently undergone a period of renovation and expansion and is open again in 2011 free of charge for the first time. The expansion has allowed for further room to display the exciting collection but also for visiting exhibitions and to enhance the learning and educational facilities that are so important to the museum.
 
Along with the collection of art the museum also holds around 4000 books in two collections and 500 documents relating to the Holburne family.
 
There are events occurring throughout the year and plenty to occupy and interest all visitors whether just to view the collections or to read and learn more about the history.
 
Set at the end of one of Baths most beautiful streets, Great Pulteney Street, it sits as what was once the gateway to the beautiful Sydney Pleasure Gardens which survive as a park behind the museum.
 
With such beauty, architecture and elegant art this is surely a place not to miss on any tour of the great city.

Other attractions in the area:
 
Victoria Art Gallery
Bath Theatre Royal
Assembly Rooms Bath
Jane Austen Centre

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015