John Ruskin’s Bicentenary year

In 2019, Brantwood celebrated the bicentenary of Ruskin’s birth with an event calendar full of wonder, including the celebration of Ruskin’s influence on the Japanese Arts and Crafts movement, stimulated by Ruskin’s writings and the impact made on the figure who galvanised Japanese craftsmen and patrons, intellectuals and retailers into creating the Mingei craft movement; Yanagi Soetsu (1889-1961). In May, the Japanese Urasenke foundation visited Brantwood to conduct a Japanese Tea Ceremony as part of a programme which  included a display of pots from the Mingei (folk crafts) tradition and its Ruskin connections featuring work by Ogata Kenzan, Shoji Hamada, Bernard Leech, Tomoo Hamada, Edward Hughes and Martin Miles Moore, with calligraphy by Mitsuko Takahashi.

Tomoo Hamada, potter opened the show with a talk about his grandfather, renowned potter Shoji Hamada.

Alongside this, dance performances took place by Cumbria Youth Dance Company, referencing elements of two of Ruskin’s diverse passions – love of the mountains and social justice.


Events are also being held around the world throughout the year. Brantwood along with Lancaster University and the Guild of St George have funded providing information about exhibitions, lectures, conferences, community projects and other events taking place in the UK and internationally throughout the year in celebration and acknowledgement of the lasting impact of this unique 19th century polymath.

Brantwood Exhibition & Events

Full details of exhibitions, events as well as talks and courses can be found in the what’s on section of our website

The Making of the Mountains: John Ruskin and the Geology of the Hills

Ruskin’s love affair with mountains began in his youth and lasted his entire life. His childhood interest in geology was also a passion for mountain landscapes. He saw mountains from both a scientific and an artistic viewpoint, uplifted by their beauty and fascinated by their structure. The earliest drawings in this show were made when […]

‘Ruskin’s Reverie’ by Kate Bentley S.W.A.

Due to current circumstances, ‘Ruskin’s Reverie’ will now be on show next year from 20 March 2021 until 25 April 2021.   We are so disappointed this has had to be delayed but look forward to seeing it in all its splendour next year.   Kate’s exhibition is the culmination of a 19 month long residency […]

‘Water Essays’ by Frances Winder

Frances’ work reflects the mood and atmosphere of landscape. Enjoying colour and vitality, but keeping presentation bold and simple to add that mystery of personal interpretation. Her work evolves and changes with her personal interests, developing new threads to follow but keeping her basic love of colour, mood and the natural world in her work. […]

The Treasury

The John Ruskin Mineral Collection. A new dedicated exhibition exploring Ruskin’s fascination with mountains, minerals and the world of geology.

Bloke’s Progress

We have been so proud to announce the arrival of our new fab comic Bloke’s Progress, the combined version of three fabulous comics written by Kevin Jackson and illustrated by Hunt Emerson.   Both attended the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in October (with, of course, Bloke’s Progress). During the Festival, it was announced that Hunt Emerson was […]

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