Your Visit

What to see

Photo of outside of Harris building

Quick guide to the galleries in the Harris Museum & Art Gallery to help you plan your visit to the Harris.

The Harris is a treasure trove, with something for everyone, whether you’re interested in art, ceramics, costume and textiles or history. The Harris is also home to the Harris library (operated by Lancashire County Council).

If you are planning to make a special journey to see a specific object or painting, please call us beforehand on 01772 258248 to check whether it is currently on display.

Here is a flavour of what you can see in the museum and art gallery.

Ground floor

Don’t miss Foucault’s Pendulum and the stunning copy of the Baptistry doors usually seen in Florence, in the main atrium. Whilst you’re taking a look, why not try one of our Fairtrade coffees or have a panini in the café.

We regularly have exhibitions on display in the café – check out the exhibitions page for details of the latest one.

The main library entrances and accessible toilet is also on the ground floor.

The museum shop has gifts for all ages (and budgets!) plus art postcards and books.

Stairway exhibition

On your way up to the first floor, check out the latest exhibition located on both staircases. This space showcases North West artists, many at the start of their career.

First floor  

Discover Preston

Uncover the stories and people that make Preston special plus old favourites and new items

from our history and archaeology collections.
Get closer to history in the Discover Room, with items rarely seen from the Harris collection such as Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Greeks, our money collection (on display for the first time) and toys.

Don’t miss the Poulton Elk – this 13,500 year old Elk displays evidence of the earliest settlers in the Preston area!


Ceramics & Glass

Explore a wide range of ceramics, decorative glass and Preston Guild commemorative items. From Staffordshire figures to studio pottery, our ceramics collection spans over 300 years of working with clay.

Don’t miss Mrs French’s Scent Bottle Collection of over 2,700 bottles and Preston Guild commemorative items.

The ladies toilet can be found in the Ceramics & Glass gallery, along with the entrance to the library’s Community Heritage Library.


Second floor

Our latest exhibition

From cutting-edge contemporary art to the best of the Harris collection, here you’ll find work from established British and internationally-renowned artists as well as the next generation of talent.

Exhibitions change regularly – what will you see today?

For details of the latest exhibitions, visit the exhibitions page.


Art Galleries

Discover an impressive collection of paintings, drawings, photographs and sculpture from the 1700s to the present day featuring well-known artists as well as works with a local connection.

Fashion & Textiles

Check out fashion and costume from the last two hundred years plus all types of textiles from the extensive Harris collection.

We change the displays each year, so come in and see what’s new. To find details of the latest exhibition, visit the exhibitions page.

Look up to the top of the Harris!

Egyptian balcony

If you have a head for heights, the view through the atrium is a sight to behold! The balcony features murals painted by John Somerscales between 1909 and 1913.

The Egyptian Balcony is only accessible as part of a guided tour – see the events page for details of the next tour.

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