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

In Arial’s Wake by Jeffery Camp RA

Brantwood is delighted to host this tribute to renowned British artist Jeffrey Camp who died last year. In Arial’s Wake celebrates Jeffrey Camp’s transcendent, spirit-driven dance in the skies above and beyond Beachy Head. In flower topped cliffs lovers become weightless, soar over the sea or strain through the storm to brave vertiginous faces of chalk. In Camp’s world […]

The Gardens of Persephone by Mike Healey

This exhibition explores themes central to Mike’s work, not least his interest in ancient mythology and a developed ‘sense of place’ acquired over a lifetime’s travel.  However, the ancient myth that primarily informs this exhibition is that of Persephone and her mother, Demeter. The story goes that Hades, King of the Underworld, abducted Persephone and made […]

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

Kate’s exhibition is the culmination of a 19 month long residency at Brantwood. After Kate commenced her residency in Sept 2018 she has focused solely on its influences. Kate’s reasons behind applying for the residency were to enable her to move away from strong landscape influences in her paintings and to experiment with contemporary media, [...]

Winter Craft Fair 2021 update

We regret to say that we have taken the difficult decision again not to host our winter craft fair this year.  In these uncertain times and still the prospect of cautious social distancing, we cannot offer this wonderful event in the way we have all come to love.  Watch this space for news of 2022!

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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