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“my first visit”

Abbot Hall Art Gallery
Ranked #10 of 51 things to do in Kendal
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Winner of the Art Gallery of the Year Cumbria Life Culture Awards 2017, Abbot Hall Art Gallery is a Grade 1 listed building with a national reputation for showing contemporary and historical works. Conveniently located in the town centre, Abbot Hall enjoys a pretty riverside setting. Just a stone’s throw from leafy Abbot Hall Park and Kendal Parish Church, it makes for an inspiring day out for all. On permanent display in the period Georgian rooms is a selection of works by Cumbrian born artist George Romney (1734-1802), one of the greatest of all eighteenth-century portrait painters. The centre piece is what many perceive to be his masterpiece, the beautiful The Gower Family: The Children of Granville, 2nd Earl Gower (1776-7). Also on show is The Great Picture which is an impressive triptych commissioned by Lady Anne Clifford (1590-1678) in 1646. It depicts the story of her life-long struggle for, and ultimately succession to, the family inheritance.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Stairs / elevator
Reviewed October 27, 2013

House is Georgian but began as a building where the church could store bits and pieces on the way to York, the church is next door. Also part of the complex is the stable block which houses the Museum of Westmoreland Life and Industry(but that's another review).
The gallery has a tearoom serving light lunches,and teatime cakes etc very good, does what it says on the tin,well served (very nice pot of tea). Modern, fresh decor, loos , no steps.

Steps up the the gallery, not sure if there is disabled access, inside no lift but disabled access ,ask the staff. Well staffed on the reception desk with friendly approachable staff.

Permanent exhibition, downstairs Loutherberg local scenes of Windermere, Romney's and Romantic Lakes Artists,the Netherlandish tryptych of Lady Ann Clifford (great for historians and Netherlandish specialists, I loved it!) An interesting portrait by Kurt Schwitters of a local cafe owner and a landscape of the Lion and the Lamb at Grasmere. Apparantly Schwitters stayed in Ambleside, which I didn't know. The Romneys are housed in appropriate Georgian setting(furniture etc) which is lovely.
Upstairs the moderns; Piper, Craxton,Nicholson and a Lowry seascape (which is labelled as 'showing the isolation of the artist' I have to disagree with this I'm afraid.) The little Picasso bronze is a joy. Moving on to the next rooms various post impressionist paintings focused on friends and influences of the Bloomsbury Group,then the Radev Collection itself, this was accumulated by Radev from the collections of Eddy Sackville-West.(cousin of Vita)and Eardley Knollys as well as his own aquisitions .A lovely very personal collection.The Art Gallery is a joy to visit .Entrance payable but you can get a joint ticket for the Museum which saves quite a lot

Thank pencooper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"kurt schwitters"
in 7 reviews
"graham sutherland"
in 5 reviews
"special exhibition"
in 3 reviews
"temporary exhibition"
in 4 reviews
"joint ticket"
in 4 reviews
"nearby museum"
in 2 reviews
"modern collection"
in 2 reviews
"excellent collection"
in 2 reviews
"the ground floor"
in 5 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 10 reviews
"a real gem"
in 3 reviews
"his life"
in 2 reviews
"lake district"
in 8 reviews
"rainy day"
in 4 reviews
"visited kendal"
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"tea room"
in 3 reviews
"car park"
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92 - 96 of 136 reviews

Reviewed October 26, 2013

Nice location for a gallery that is housed in an old stately home. Impressive collection of art by local artist George Romney, but the highlight for me was the 17th century triptych 'The Great Picture' in the downstairs gallery, which was a huge oil painting on panels depicting the life of Lady Anne Clifford. Enjoyable way to spend an hour or so.

1  Thank Owlzthat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2013

Entry to this gallery is expensive ( no reductions) and if you have visited more than once you will find ( as we have) that the whole ground floor is taken up by an unchanging permanent exhibition largely for those interested in 18th art inspired by local history. We saw the touring collection of Bloomsbury and after works in the Radev collection. Exhibition is reasonably interesting, but quality of work is variable. Captions of the works on show are tiny which unfortunately reflects the trend of most galleries With entry prices like these its a surprise you have to pay to park.The road to the gallery crosses the river about 5 times in the middle of the town. Not sure its worth the effort or expense. We would be surprised if you stayed long... under an hour , unless you go to the café.

Thank Charles C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2013

This art gallery is a real gem. The permanent exhibitions are well worth viewing (it includes one of my favourite pictures of all time, of the Gower family by George Romney, plus work by Schwitters). There is always a wonderful special exhibition to view. This time it was the work of Graham Sutherland - amazing. This is a must for me whenever I visit the Lake District. Only problem is Kendal's dreadful one-way system but it's really worth persevering and there is parking available outside the gallery plus a good tea room (show your parking ticket receipt to claim a discount0

Thank HB2981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 24, 2013 via mobile

Viewed the current Graham Sutherland Exhibition, absolutely wonderful, but the star of the show was the Picasso relief, stunning ....

Thank Geoff S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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