St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery

Opening Monday - Saturday 10am-5pm
Sunday 10am-4pm

01590 676969

Command of the Seas: The Navy and the New Forest against Napoleon

Command of the Seas: The Navy and the New Forest against Napoleon

Starts: June 8 - 10:00am
Ends: September 1 - 5:00pm

Between 1793 and 1815, Britain was at war with revolutionary France. This exhibition will explore some of the key naval battles in the run up to the decisive victory at Trafalgar in 1805, as well as what life was like in the navy at the time. It will focus on the important contributions of three local admirals, Cornwallis, Peyton and Man, all of whom are buried at Milford churchyard. Featuring items relating to these admirals on loan from both national and private collections, the highlight of our show will be JMW Turner’s second sketch for the Battle of Trafalgar, on loan from the Tate.

Gallery 3 focusses on the New Forest itself, exploring how local timber from the forest was used to construct some of the warships that made up Nelson’s Navy.

There will be children’s activities throughout the exhibition and a weekend of events in Milford on 5-7 July to commemorate the bicentenary of the death of Admiral Cornwallis.

This exhibition has been created in partnership with the Milford-on-Sea Historical Record Society and the New Forest National Park Authority.

Image by JW Turner ‘The Battle of Trafalgar’ . Thanks to

Textile Exhibition (Gallery 3)

Textile Exhibition (Gallery 3)

Starts: April 30 - 10:00am
Ends: June 2 - 5:00pm

This exhibition brings together local textile artists working in a variety of different media. From felting to lace-making, weaving, patchwork and collage, we are seeking to highlight the range of work being created by talented local artists.

Jeanne Daniel will be giving Weaving demonstrations on Wednesdays and Fridays 11am-12pm.

Jan Slatter will be giving Spinning and Weaving demonstrations on Sunday mornings.

The Barton Lace Group will also be giving ad hoc demonstrations through out the exhibition.

The works in this exhibition will be available for sale.

Textile by Pippa Crouch

St Barbe Young Artist's Open

St Barbe Young Artist's Open

Starts: March 23 - 10:00am
Ends: April 28 - 4:00pm

2018 saw the inaugural Young Artists’ Open providing an opportunity for developing artists from toddlers to 17 year olds. For this year’s exhibition we received 49 entries, all of which will be displayed in Gallery 3 alongside the adult Open exhibition. The exhibition is a feast of colour, featuring landscapes, wildlife, still life and works of imagination in pencil, ink, watercolour, acrylic and mixed media. We hope that in time some of these budding artists’ work will appear in the main Open exhibition.

Prizes for each age category (under 7, 7-11, 12-17) have been generously provided by Gordon Young in memory of Ted Marsh the first Chairman of Trustees at St Barbe whose vision and energy helped found the museum you see today.

Image: Flora by Madelaine Curry (12-17 winner)

St Barbe Open Exhibition 2019

St Barbe Open Exhibition 2019

Starts: March 22 - 10:00am
Ends: June 2 - 5:00pm

Last year the Open exhibition made a successful transition to the new gallery spaces and an online entry method that resulted in the largest submission so far. This year there were 428 entries for the exhibition and since the overall quality was so high the judges had a very difficult time making their selection. In the end they chose 105 works which range from vibrant paintings in oil and acrylic to jewel-like prints and quirky sculpture.

Since it was established in 2000 the St Barbe Open has become one of the highlights  of the local arts calendar, attracting artists from Hampshire, Dorset and beyond. This 19th Open includes paintings, prints, drawings and three dimensional pieces in ceramic, bronze, wood and mixed media. Most works are available for sale and the exhibition provides an excellent opportunity to find affordable art by some of the best artists working in the region.

IMAGES This page: Ken Nemar - Wildflowers 3 | Home page: John Graham - Mackerel

This year’s prizes include:

Specsavers, Lymington People’s Choice Award (£250)

The Blake Morgan Award for best painting (£250)

The Mary and John Symons Memorial Award for best print (£250)

The Coastal Gallery Award for best contemporary abstract work (£100)

The Ted Marsh Award for best work by an artist aged 18-21 (£100)

The Beaulieu Fine Arts Award for best work by a non-professional artist (£100 of framing)

New Forest Wildlife - Children's Photography Competition Display

New Forest Wildlife - Children's Photography Competition Display

Starts: January 28 - 10:00am
Ends: February 8 - 4:00pm

Photographs taken as part of our wildlife photography competition will be displayed in the window of our McCarthy Room for everybody to admire.

The British Wildlife Photography Awards 2018

The British Wildlife Photography Awards 2018

Starts: January 18 - 10:00am
Ends: March 17 - 4:00pm

The British Wildlife Photography Awards celebrate the beauty and diversity of British wildlife as captured by amateur and professional photographers. This exhibition presents the winning pictures chosen from thousands of entries and is a showcase for the country’s leading photographers.

This stunning collection comprises around 90 photographs chosen across fifteen categories including coast and marine life, animal behaviour, plants, habitats, the seasons and urban wildlife. There are also categories for film and junior photographers. Each image is accompanied by the photographer’s personal insights into the circumstances and inspiration behind the shot.

These incredible photographs give us a chance to marvel at the wonders of British wildlife from the spectacular to the everyday, all presented in thought-provoking and eye-catching compositions.

Any children interested in photography? Details of our competition here

Image: Ivan Carter aged 17



Starts: November 30 - 10:00am
Ends: January 13 - 4:00pm

The first of a series of invited artist exhibitions in which we bring together leading contemporary artists working in a range of media to explore their responses to a common theme. Coast: its atmosphere, landscapes, wildlife, activities and communities are all examined in this first exhibition which includes work by Richard Bawden, Alison Bolton, Jeremy Gardiner, Angie Lewin, Ffiona Lewis, Howard Phipps, Pine Feroda, and Michael Porter. The exhibition will explore how aspects of the British coastline have inspired each artist’s practice and its incredibly varied character will be reflected in an eclectic celebration of the shoreline. This will be a selling exhibition.

Gallery 3 will host a local history exhibition exploring how the coastline has changed over time.

Colour Cuts by Allen William Seaby and John Edgar Platt

Colour Cuts by Allen William Seaby and John Edgar Platt

Starts: September 28 - 10:00am
Ends: November 25 - 4:00pm

This exhibition explores the work of two of the greatest exponents of colour woodblock prints, Allen William Seaby (1867-1953) and John Edgar Platt (1886-1967).

Japanese colour woodcut prints had a big influence on European art from the end of the 19th century.

Seaby and Platt’s work married English landscape and wildlife subjects with a Japanese aesthetic. Delicately coloured and very evocative of their time, these prints are now once again fashionable and highly sought after.

This is a unique exhibition of both printmakers’ work in partnership with the artists’ families. The exhibition also looks at the paintings of Platt’s son Michael and the prints of Seaby’s grandson Robert Gillmor, as well as featuring prints and drawings made by Seaby during regular camping trips to the New Forest.

Read a review by print expert, Hilary Chapman

Exhibition: Dazzle:Disguise and Disruption in War and Art

Exhibition: Dazzle:Disguise and Disruption in War and Art

Starts: June 16 - 10:00am
Ends: September 23 - 5:00pm

In 1917 U-Boat attacks threatened to knock Britain out of the war. Artist Norman Wilkinson persuaded the Admiralty that the answer lay in patterns painted on the side of ships which would confuse U-Boat commanders as to the vessel’s direction and speed. A team of artists were recruited to create these ‘Dazzle’ designs and soon ships were sailing out looking like exhibits in an avant-garde art show.

This unique exhibition, curated by James Taylor, author and historian, looks at the development of Dazzle and features original ship models, Dazzle plans and artworks made to record and celebrate the scheme. The exhibition includes works by Norman Wilkinson, Edward Wadsworth, Montague Dawson, John Everett and many more on loan from the national, regional and private collections.

Art historian and BBC Antiques Roadshow presenter Paul Atterbury said: “ It is extraordinary that so important a story, in which the very future of Britain hung in the balance, has until now not been told. National galleries and museums in London and elsewhere have certainly missed a trick by ignoring this great story.”

This is the only exhibition on the topic being mounted during the First World War Centenary commemorations.

Exhibition: Springlines by Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis and Clare Best

Exhibition: Springlines by Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis and Clare Best

Starts: April 20 - 10:00am
Ends: June 10 - 5:00pm

Springlines is a collaborative project between poet Clare Best and painter Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis, exploring hidden and mysterious bodies of water across the south of England. For several years Clare and Mary Anne have been working from nature, from memory and imagination and in response to one another’s creativity. Together they have made a body of work that tells the story of the complex and fragile relationship between human life and groundwater. The exhibition features paintings by Mary Anne and poetry by Clare based on their explorations in Sussex, Kent and the New Forest as well as relevant items from the museum’s local collections.

The exhibition has already provoked this response: “I have just visited the gallery for the first time and found it a beautiful place with very thoughtful displays. I should particularly like to say how much I loved the Springlines Exhibition, to the extent that it stirred quite and emotional reaction in me, in fact, making me cry, I must admit. Not normal for me at an exhibition! Please pass on my thanks to Mary Anne and Clare.” Alison, Friday April 20, 2018.