Northampton Borough Council
Northampton Borough Council

Adult workshops, talks & tours

Art History Lecture Series

Charles Conder Bullring

Concern and Bafflement - an exploration of art created during the early decades of the twentieth century

Five lectures exploring artists from the early twentieth century through works in the collection of the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery

20 September –18 October

10.15am-12.15pm

Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

A course of five lecture and discussion sessions led by art historian Dr Conny Bailey considering artists of the first quarter of the 20th century to complement and contextualize the T  L Shoosmith exhibition. Each session will feature a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with a painting from the NMAG collection. Enjoy these informal, sociable and stimulating lectures delivered by experienced tutors.

Tuesday 20 September

In Morris's footsteps? Frank Brangwyn: artist, maker, craftsman

Tuesday 27 September

Picasso and the Parisian Avant-Garde

Tuesday 4 October

A very English Affair: The Artists of the Bloomsbury Group

Tuesday 11 October

Battle of the Brush: Artists of the Great War

Tuesday 18 October

A thoroughly modern man: Joseph Wenman Basset-Lowke and his architectural commissions in Northampton

The sessions will include exclusive access to work by:

Frank Brangwyn, Charles Conder, Mark Gertler, Nevinson, John Nash, John Archibald and Alexander Berrie. 

£6 per lecture or £25 for the whole series ticket. Includes tea/coffee and cake.

No ticket refunds or exchanges

Ring 01604 837397 to book.

Watercolour Workshops

Monday 26 September and 3, 10, 17 and 24 October   2 - 4pm

Adult Watercolour Workshops

Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

A series of five watercolour workshops led by Northamptonshire artist and teacher David Douglas.


No matter your experience or skill level, these workshops are open to all abilities and offer a chance to improve your technique and meet other artists.  

This is a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with our Shoosmith collection and paint in a prestigious art gallery.

£100 for the series of individual class £20

Adults only, suitable for all abilities

Ring 01604 837397 to book.  No ticket refunds.

Fiendish Footwear Workshop

Saturday 15 October   10am - 4pm

Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

Fiendish Footwear Workshop

A Halloween-themed shoe makeover workshop.  Transform a pair of your old shoes by covering them in a choice of fabulous fabrics and trims.  Learn the process of pattern cutting, covering and embellishing with results simply to die for!

No shoes in need of help?  We can provide a new pair for you to customise for an extra charge.

£35 (own shoes),  £50  (shoes supplied)

Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. 

Ring 01604 837397 to book.  No ticket refunds.

Carmela's Kitchen
Italian Festive Treats Workshop

Saturday 12 November   1.30 - 3.30pm

Extra morning session added due to popular demand - 10.30am - 12.30pm 

Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

Carmela's Kitchen returns to the museum.  

Join us to create a decadent dark chocolate and amaretto cake.  Learn how to make delicately-topped bruschetta toasts, filled baby tomatoes and peppers and a festive tiramisu. Choose a time slot from the morning or afternoon workshops - both workshops will have exactly the same content.

£25 including ingredients.  You will be informed of which utensils to bring upon booking.

Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. 

Ring 01604 837397 to book.  No ticket refund

Experienced Hands - Shoemaking Demonstration
Shoe demo

Saturday 12 November

10am-4pm

Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

Discover the fascinating craft of hand shoemaking with Peter Prince, an independent boot and shoe maker, whose journey through the craft has taken him from the historical world of museums and castles to the film and fashion industries. Peter has honed his skills by working alongside some of the original, traditional shoe-makers of Northampton. From shoes to boots to belts to bags, Peter has developed his own unique style incorporating a fusion of ancient techniques and modern design. 

Suitable for all ages.

Drop in. Free

The Neglected Watercolourist - The Life and Work of T L
The Life and Work of T L Shoosmith
Shoosmith: A study day

Saturday 19 November

10.15am – 4pm

Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

A specialist in landscape, Shoosmith developed a unique and distinctive style of immense subtlety, gaining an international reputation at the beginning of the 20th century. He dominated the arts scene in the town and influenced a generation of artists including Thomas Osbourne Robinson and Thomas Cooper Gotch. This event will complement the exhibition at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery and provide the opportunity for those interested in art and social history to find out more and to reappraise and reassess the work of this artist from Northampton.

£25 including refreshments and lunch

Ring 01604 837397 to book.

Writing to the Power of Ten
Creative Writers @ The Museum logo

Saturday 26 November   10.30am - 3pm

Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

Creative Writers @ The Museum celebrate their 10th anniversary of residency this year.

Join them for one of their popular workshops to create pieces of writing taking inspiration from the museums' exhibits and collections.  The written pieces will be displayed in the museum.

No shoes in need of help?  We can provide a new pair for you to customise for an extra charge.

£10

Over 16s only 

Ring 01604 837397 to book.  No ticket refund

Over 60s Talks

Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

10.30am - 11.30am

£2.50 including refreshments

Booking essential - ring 01604 837397 to book. No ticket refunds or exchanges.

The Victorian Ghost Hunter
Andrew Selwyn-Crome
Thursday 22 September

Meet a Victorian ghost hunter and take a look at the tools of his trade.  hear about the Society for Psychical Research which started in Cambridge in 1882 and discover the strange and bizarre tale of Edmund Gurney, a founding member.

Common Sayings and Their Origins
Major David Squibb
Thursday 6 October

Without thinking we use common sayings every day to convey an idea without "spelling it out".  Explore the world of the idiom, you may be "over the moon" at discovering something new!

Death in the Garden
Michael Brown
Thursday 10 November

Poisonous plants, magic, myths, passion and murder. Over the centuries poisonous plants have been used to remove an unwanted partner or rival, as aphrodisiacs and more practically. Be warned - some of these plants may be lurking in your garden.

What the Roman Did For Us in the Kitchen, with Cake
Chris Carr
Thursday 24 November

When the Romans came in the first century they brought with them many new foods - you may be surprised to learn which.  A great opportunity to try some cake made to a genuine Roman recipe!

History of Royal and Derngate
Michael Brailey
Thursday 8 December

As archivist with Royal and Derngate theatres, Michael will give this talk on the history of the theatres from 1884 through to the present day.

Saturday Object Handling Sessions

1.30pm - 3.30pm

Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

Drop in to these monthly Saturday sessions for a unique opportunity to handle and find out more about some amazing objects from the museum's collections.  Volunteers will be on hand to help and answer your questions.

  • 24 September: Old Northampton
  • 29 October: Home Life
  • 26 November: Green 

Free and no booking required: just drop in. All ages welcome 

There’s No Business Like Shoe Business!
There's no business like shoe business

3 December – 28 January 2017

Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

Enjoy a short series of three talks to complement the shoemaking exhibition ‘Experienced Hands’. The talks will look at the history of shoemaking in Northampton, the evolution of the shoe factory and allied buildings, and a history of shoe fashions, with a chance to take a closer look at a selection of shoes from the Designated collection.

Saturday 3 December, 2pm

Factory Life in the Boot and Shoe Industry

Ruth Thomas

In less than a century from 1800, Northampton developed from a small shire town to become the shoe manufacturing centre for the region, the country and eventually the world. We will look at the development of shoe manufacturing in Northampton from the medieval period as a small cottage industry of hand sewing men to a factory industry employing thousands of workers which dominated every aspect of the town.

Saturday 21 January 2017, 2pm

Dedicated Followers of Shoe Fashions

Rebecca Shawcross

A light-hearted look at shoes from Roman times to the present day by Rebecca Shawcross, Shoe Curator and author of ‘Shoes: An Illustrated History’. Encompassing the distinctly lewd medieval poulaine, the delicate flats of the early nineteenth century and the 70s platform, the talk takes in all the highs and lows of shoe fashions illustrated with shoes from the collection.

Saturday 28 January 2017, 2pm

Northampton’s Boot & Shoe Factory Heritage

Peter Perkins

This illustrated talk looks at the evolution of the boot & shoe factory in Northampton and the history of some of the buildings that remain today in the town’s Boot & Shoe Quarter.

£5 per lecture or £12.50 for the series ticket. 

No ticket refunds or exchanges.

Ring 01604 837397 to book.

Mailing list

If you would like to know about future exhibitions, events and workshops please email museums@northampton.gov.uk with your details and we will add you to our mailing list. Please state any preferences you may have e.g. art, history or general. All information will be kept confidential and used only by the museum.