An exceptional collection of paintings and objects highlighting notable People and Places in the Canterbury area. From legendary Baroque court painter Anthony Van Dyke to contemporary Pop Artist David Hockney, this juxtaposed collection of artwork spans an impressive 500 years.

Covering a range of universal themes through the medium of paint, print, pottery and sculpture, there is something to suit all tastes.

Portraits of notable local landowners, nobles, hop-pickers and Canterbury pilgrims adorn the walls, alongside captivating images of historic Canterbury and the Kentish countryside.

Children and adults alike are encouraged to ‘step into the paintings’ and recreate some of the room’s impressive artwork with an interactive dress-up activity.

HandThis is a Family Friendly Gallery!

Location First floor, The Beaney
Activities for Adults Kaleidoscope exploration
Activities for Children Interactive dress-up & Explorer Points

Explore the Collections

The tale of Rupert Bear begins with the story of the Caldwell Family. The Caldwell’s were a family of artists who worked at Canterbury Cathedral on the restoration of stained-glass windows. Their daughter, Mary, went on to attend Simon Langton Girls’ School, then studied at the Sidney Cooper School of Art in Canterbury before going on to marry a man named Herbert Tourtel.

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With a family history reading like who’s who of Tudor celebrity, this hypnotic portrait has now rightfully taken its place on The Beaney ‘Wall of Fame’.

Born in 1554 Susan Bertie was the daughter of Catherine Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk and her second husband Richard Bertie.

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The news of Archbishop Thomas Becket’s murder in 1170 spread with ferocity. Shortly after his death he was made a saint, and miracles began to be reported at his tomb in Canterbury Cathedral. Pilgrims from Britain and Europe flocked to the city in the hope a visit would cure their ailments.

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Arguably a pearl in The Beaney’s collection, Van Dyck’s portrait of Sir Basil Dixwell (1638) was acquired by The Beaney in 2004, and is an excellent example of the refined painting style that went on to have a dominant influence on portraiture in England for 150 years.

Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599 – 1641) was a Flemish Baroque artist…

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Born in Australia, Harriet Halhed (1850-1933) came to England as an orphan, aged six, to be brought up by her aunt in Harbledown, near Canterbury. She went on to train at the Sydney Cooper School of Art, the Royal College of Art in London and then with artist Louis Deschamps in Paris. This French influence, along with the work of James McNeill Whistler, is evident in her paintings…

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Likened to Constable, Sir David Murray RA (1849 – 1933) was a Royal Academician and very prolific Scottish landscape painter. Having studied at the Glasgow School of Art under Robert Greenlees, he moved to London in 1882 where he was an immediate success…

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Created by BAFTA award-winning Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate through their company Smallfilms, Bagpuss was filmed in Firmin’s barn in Blean, just outside Canterbury.

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