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

Swallows and Amazons: As Seen from Abroad

Exhibition by The Arthur Ransome Trust If translating a classic novel is a challenge, illustrating a translation is an art. Join us, as we explore the ways in which nearly twenty illustrators have reinterpreted Arthur Ransome’s Lakeland classics. Arthur Ransome published Swallows and Amazons in 1930. Since then it, and some or all of its […]

A Little Wilderness by Rachel Gibson

  A Little Wilderness : Paintings and Drawings from the Natural World ‘I have a garden of my own, But so with roses overgrown, And lilies, that you would it guess, To be a little wilderness’.  Andrew Marvell 1621-1678 Ruskin’s own garden here at Brantwood allowed him time and space to research nature and its […]

John Ruskin in the Age of Science

Explore Lancaster University’s Ruskin Whitehouse Collection exhibited in London and the Lake District. Three exhibitions about John Ruskin’s ideas in the age of science, starting with ‘The Skies are for All: Ruskin and Climate Change’, in the Blue Gallery at Brantwood from 22nd April to 22 June 2022. Curated by Sandra Kemp (The Ruskin), with […]

Midsummer Nights Dream

OPEN AIR THEATRE BY ILLYRIA Five couples – three human, one fairy, and one mythical – find their relationships sorely tested, intimately probed and indecently exposed when a troupe of amateur theatricals bumble into the forest to rehearse a play.   Shakespeare’s timeless comic masterpiece explores every colour in the spectrum of love, from arranged marriage […]

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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