News

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Freelance Contemporary Art Curator - Representations of BSL

BSL symbol

We're looking for a Freelance Contemporary Art Curator to work alongside Deafway Preston and a group of Deaf adults to facilitate the commissioning and display of a new artwork for the Harris representing the Deaf community.

Funded by Arts Council England, the work will be commissioned by a steering group of Deaf adults, who use British Sign Language and who identify as culturally Deaf, with the support of a combined Deafway/Harris project team. 

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Harris wins £900,000 Arts Council England Funding

We are delighted to announce that the Harris secured National Portfolio funding (NPO) from Arts Council England (ACE) on Tuesday 27th June 2017.

The funding is to support activities and staffing across the building, and £225,000 will be available to the Harris for four financial years from April 2018, making a total of £900,000 across the four years.

ACE has funded the Harris in recognition of the crucial role it plays in the cultural landscape across Lancashire. The bid was submitted in January, and is part of the Re-imagining the Harris project. Lancashire County Council and Preston City Council are working together to reinforce the role of the Harris as a creative, civic and community centre for all communities.

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Win Fashion in the 1950s

Fashion in the 1950s book cover

Fashion in the 50s is a fabulous new paperback guide to a thrilling decade of style, written by Daniel Milford-Cottam, a curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum.  It's on sale now in our shop at just £7.99.

It also contains photos from our own Horrockses Fashions collection, a ballgown from 1955 and a Paolozzi-designed cocktail dress from 1953.

We've got two copies to give away in our competition!

PLEASE NOTE THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.

The correct answer to the question, 'In which town was the Horrockses company founded?' was, of course, Preston!

 

How to Enter
You can enter in two ways. Either like and share our post about the book on our Facebook page (HarrisMuseumandArtGallery) or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , putting 'Fashion 1950s' in the subject box and answering this question: In which town was the Horrockses company founded? Don't forget to include your name! Entries must be received by midnight on Sunday 25th June 2017. Full competition rules are below.

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Opened 1893. Re-imagining starts 2017

Take a fresh look at the Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library with filmmaker Garry Cook.  See the Harris as never before in Garry's 90- second film.

 

 

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Come and work at the Harris

Retirement of Harris Art Director Sydney Paviere in 1959

We're pleased to be advertising part time Visitor Services Assistant roles at the Harris.  The deadline for applications is 12 noon on 10th November.  Click here for more details and how to apply

 

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New opening hours at the Harris

The Harris rotunda

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.

STOP PRESS: See our revised hours from November 7th 2016 here

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.

If you are interested in performing or leading an event on a Wednesday evening, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Bright new vision for the Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library

The Harris rotunda

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.

 

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Re-imagining the Harris: A new vision

The Harris at night

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 2017 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.

 

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Give your opinion on proposals for Lancashire Libraries and Museums

Map of Preston

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 Councilbut may affect the Harris Library which is run by Lancashire County Council.

You can take part in the Libraries consultation here 

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.

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Friends of the Harris and Art Aid help save Preston Painting

John P. Jenkinson, View of Preston (detail)

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.

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Chief Executive of Arts Council visits the Harris

Darren Henley CEO of Arts Council England

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.

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Harris Shortlisted for Cultural Venue of the Year

Lancashire Tourism Awards Finalist logo

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!

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National Award for Money Matters!

Matt Ball and James Arnold receive the Collections Trust Award from Alex Dawsonj

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.

 

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Harris supports the Buy Art Fair & Manchester Contemporary

Image of the Buy Art Fair

We are delighted to be supporting the Buy Art Fair and Manchester Contemporary taking place 24 - 27 September at Old Granada  Studios in Manchester.

 

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Howard Celebrates 25 Years at the Harris

Howard Robinson receives 25 year long service award

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.

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Preston Cultural Framework funding for 2015/16 is announced

Lakes Alive performance at Guild 2012

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.

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The Harris Museum & Art Gallery joins Plus Tate

Tate Plus logo

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.

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Introducing 'Dance First, Think Later': the Harris' Contemporary Art Programme 2015/16

Harold Offeh, High Bar 2015

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.

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The Harris Scoops £40,000 Contemporary Art Society Annual Award

Accepting the CAS Annual Award

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.

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The Cultural Framework for Preston 2014-18 has been launched

Lakes Alive performance at Guild 2012

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.

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