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Decorative Arts Gallery

The Decorative Arts Gallery on the second floor of Portsmouth Museum is dedicated to the art collections of the service. The art section covers both fine and decorative art which are shown together in this space. Displays change but there is always an exciting mixture of works on display drawn from the permanent collections. Visitors can always be sure of seeing a selection of paintings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, furniture, glass and textiles. The art collections span 500 years of artistic creation and at any one time contemporary pieces and earlier works will be on display together.

Some of the works on display were made by artists and craftspeople working in the Portsmouth area, other works come from the wider national and international arenas. Household names are represented as well as less well known artists whose work is nonetheless of high quality. The collections tend to be displayed in thematic rather than chronological groupings, explaining styles, subject matter and techniques. Fascinating links and correspondences are explored which continually surprise and delight our visitors.

Before making a special visit to see a particular item potential visitors should contact the Keeper of Art to check whether the item is on display. We lend items to other museums and also change our own displays. However, stored items can be made available to enquirers but advance notice is needed.

Rediscovery: The decorative arts

200 years of design history in ceramics, furniture, textiles, decorative tiles, embroidery, illustrations and glass from the decorative arts collection. The artists, designers and craft makers featured include: Vanessa Bell, Dora Carrington, William De Morgan, Christopher Dresser, Duncan Grant, Bernard Leech, AWN Pugin and Lucie Rie. Also kindly on loan from the Crafts Council, a ceramic piece by Grayson Perry, who studied at Portsmouth Art College.

From 21st October 2017. Admission Free

Mad Kid’s Bedroom Wall Pot, Grayson Perry, 1996. Crafts Council Collection: P442. Photo: Todd-White Art Photography. 

Portsmouth Museums
Visit the Natural History Museum Site
Visit the D-day museum site
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