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Special exhibition at Portsmouth Museum
Edward King: a life in art

Painting by Edward King

Artist Edward King was a patient at St James' Hospital in Portsmouth from 1926 until his death in 1951 aged 89. He continued to paint and documented the hospital grounds, the houseboats at nearby Milton Locks and the aftermath of the bomb damage from the Blitz in the city. This new display includes around 70 paintings plus photographs, archival material and objects from Portsmouth's museum collections.

Portsmouth Museum is currently displaying 'Night Raid on Portsmouth Docks' by Richard Eurich, which is on loan from the Tate. It's the first time this painting has been on display outside of London. Discover more here.

Due to the continued generosity of our museum visitors we have, in the past few months, been able to raise over £2000 in public donations.

This funding has given us the opportunity to have five oil paintings (below) by the esteemed artist Edward King, cleaned and treated.

Susan Ward, Curator of Art, said: "The overwhelming support from the public has enabled us ensure the long-term preservation of these works of art which are so intrinsic to the history of Portsmouth."

Over the next few months the works will receive conservation treatment and we will keep you updated with images of the progress made.

Edward King: A Life in Art, is on display until 25th June.


Also on display:

Game Over: The Future of the Past

Portsmouth Museum and Game Over are proud to present Game Over: The Future of the Past, the largest single private collection of TV games, home computers and consoles on display in the UK. From the first Pong TV game to the latest PlayStation console, this new free exhibition spans over 40 years of home video gaming.

Practice your retro gaming skills on a hand-picked selection of playable consoles and explore the history of the video game with over 100 machines on display. An exciting programme of events will be running alongside the exhibition, including the chance to make your own video-game inspired pixel-artworks with local artist Kendal James. Game Over: The Future of the Past is a hands-on experience for veteran gamers and newbies alike - don’t miss it.

Charles Dickens: The Art of the Story

Portsmouth City Museum is displaying illustrations of the characters and places depicted in some of Dickens' novels. This new display including watercolours, engravings, prints, illustrated cigarette cards and books. Featured artists include Kyd, George Cruikshank, Hablo Knight Browne and Frederick Barnard. It includes approximately 130 works from the Portsmouth Museums collection.

The display runs until April and admission is free.

Bill Sykes and Fagin, a watercolour by Kyd

Where are you going? Journeys in pictures from the collections of Portsmouth Museums

Portsmouth's collections include many works of art that show people on the move.  In this selection of paintings, photographs and prints people use different types of transport to travel on land, by water and in the air.  Some pictures show recognisable places and familiar journeys - ferry trips on the Solent and people travelling around the city by bicycle or on foot.  Others depict less obvious journeys and are more open to interpretation.  So come on down to Portsmouth Museum and see where we can take you.

Past News - Visit this page for news of some of our past projects.

Please note, the cafe at Portsmouth City Museum is closed until further notice.

What's at Portsmouth Museum

Portsmouth Museum explores different facets of Portsmouth’s rich and varied history – from the everyday to moments when the city has played its role in national and international events.  The city’s art and design collections are showcased here. The museum provides an excellent introduction to the city for visitors and its inviting spaces and events programme are popular with residents.

The museum with its turrets and pointed roofs - reminiscent of a fairy-tale castle - is in fact a former barracks. Its formally laid out, south-facing garden is used in the summer for events. The museum is home to a new Visitor Information point which means visitors can find out about the city’s wider cultural offer as well as booking accommodation and tickets to the city’s other cultural venues and attractions.

Portsmouth City Museum stocks copies of The Portsmouth Papers. Click here for more information about these short historical documents or to order copies.

Permanent Exhibitions  

No Place like Pompey 

What makes Portsmouth unique? Is it one particular place, the city’s geography, its past or its people?  This exhibition looks at some of the things that make "Pompey” special. This is the UK’s only island city, the city is ringed by forts both on land and in the sea and its history has been shaped by its relationship with the Royal Navy and Dockyard.  The exhibition explains many of the things you will notice as you explore the city and the visitor information staff at the museum will help plan your visit.

A Study in Sherlock: Uncovering the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection
This exhibition showcases the largest collection pertaining to Doyle and his creation Sherlock Holmes in the world.  The gallery explores Doyle’s early life as a doctor in Portsmouth, his sporting activity and later interest in spiritualism as well as Sherlock Holmes as depicted in film, theatre, advertising and elsewhere.  It includes a Sherlock Holmes mystery and a narration by Stephen Fry, patron of the collection.

Picture Gallery  
Take a trip to the Picture Gallery to see over 65 paintings, photographs and prints on the theme of 'journeys'.  All of the pictures on display are from the collections of Portsmouth Museums.  Click here to see all of the oil paintings held by the city on the Your Paintings website, produced as a result of the work of the Public Catalogue Foundation to catalogue all of the oil paintings held in public collections in the UK.

Other Galleries 
Other galleries explore the city’s relationship with football - especially Pompey’s FA Cup wins in 2008 and 1939 – the seaside at Southsea and Portsmouth homes from 1680 to 1960. The Fine and Decorative Art Gallery features our wide range of artwork from seventeenth century chairs to contemporary ceramics, from serene landscape paintings by the local Cole family of artists to vivid abstract paintings of the twentieth century.

Portsmouth City Museums



All pictures are copyright of Portsmouth Museums and Visitor Services

Portsmouth Museums
Visit the Natural History Museum Site
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Visit the Charles Dickens Birthplace site
Visit the Southsea Castle site
Visit the Portsmouth Museum Portal site


Looking at the 1950s living room

Fine and decorative art on display

Portsmouth at Play gallery

Museum shop