Northampton museums - what's on

Adult workshops, talks & tours

Book online on our Eventbrite page  Alternatively, the Abington Park Museum ticket booking line is open during term time from November to March, Thursday to Sunday 12 - 4pm and during school holidays Thursday to Sunday 12 - 4pm.  From 1 April the times change to 1 - 5pm.  You can also call 01604 838110 to purchase your ticket over the phone.

Northampton's First Police Force

Over 60s - all talks are sold out

£3 per talk
Includes refreshments
Abington Park Museum


Thursday 7 February - sold out
Northampton's First police Force 1836-1849
Speaker: Alex Harris

A Peeler's uniform, a drunken Christmas, the policeman told to bring his dog and a stick to his beat - more misbehaviour and all change again in 1849.

Thursday 28 February - sold out
Art in the Home
Speaker: Dr Conny Bailey

Household goods that have subsequently made the transition to tradeable commodity on the art market and their context in the relevant historic period.

Thursday 14 March - sold out
Radio Days

Speaker: Kevin Varty
Exploring the programmes we listened to in the days when the wireless hummed and the dial took us to  Hilversum, Luxemburg and the Trawler Band.

Thursday 28 March - sold out
The Home Guard - The Real Dad's Army
Speaker: Chris Bazeley

The Home Guard faced the very real threat of invasion. This talk includes the national scene with anecdotes from the platoons of South Northamptonshire.

Thursday 25 April - sold out
Victorian Gaol Block of Northampton County Gaol
Speaker: Alan Clark

Gaol, citadel, library and museum - a closer look at the building that will hold Northampton's past for generations to come when it houses the expansion of Northampton Museum & Art Gallery.

Tours of Abington Park MuseumWooden panelling in Oak Room, Abington Park Museum


Sunday 24 February
Sunday 24 March
Sunday 28 April
Abington Park Museum

Volunteer led guided tours of the historic Abington Park Museum. Discover the history of the building and the people who have lived there.
Recommended for adults. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. Tours involve stairs and uneven floors and will last approximately 45 minutes.
See top of page for how to book.


Art History Lecture Series

Collectives and Communities: Representations of artistic groups in the Northampton Museums and Art Gallery collection
Friday 1 March - Friday 29 March
Abington Park Museum

As long as art has been made, artists have thrived on the mutual exchange of ideas and collaboration. Often the desire and, occasionally, necessity, for a shared environment to experience artistic creativity has led to the formation of artistic communities that are defined to this day through their commonalities in style, colour or expression. Our ninth series of lectures examines the lives and works of five artists represented in the collection of Northampton Museums and Art Gallery who are known to have been part of such communities or collectives. Join ProArtium (art historians Dr Conny Bailey, Dr Miriam Gill and Dr Ellie Pridgeon) as they examine artists and their collective context in countries as geographically diverse as the UK and Australia.

Friday 1 March
The Heidelberg Group

Representative Artist: Charles Conder  - Palm Beach Near Venice, ItalyMarch Art History Lectures
Speaker: Dr Conny Bailey

Friday 8 March
Great Bardfield Artists

Representative Artist: Trevor Allen - Yellow Couch with Zippo
Speaker: Dr Ellie Pridgeon

Friday 15 March
The Newlyn School

Representative Artist: Thomas Cooper Gotch - The Listener
Speaker: Dr Conny Bailey

Friday 22 March
The Norwich School

Representative Artist: John  Crome - Thatched Cottage in a Pastoral Landscape
Speaker: Dr Miriam Gill

Friday 29 March
The Seven and Five Society

Representative Artist: John Piper - The Cottages
Speaker: Dr Conny Bailey

Speakers and the order of lectures are correct at the time of going to press; however availability may change or relevant guest speakers may become available in the interim. Consequently, ProArtium reserve the right to change speakers where necessary or appropriate. Any changes will be publicised as early as possible.

£6 per lecture or £25 for the whole series
Includes light refreshments
See top of page for how to book

Yuko Nakayama's Japanese Cooking Workshop - sold out

Sunday 17 March
Abington Park Museum

Following on from her sold out autumn event, Yuko Nakayama is returning to the museum for another cooking workshop and tasting session. Four seasonal items will be prepared - seasonality being a key focus of Japanese cuisine. Spring in Japan is synonymous with sakura (cherry blossom) and this will be one of the themes covered. Throughout the workshop attendees will also be introduced to aspects of Japanese culture, including the significance placed on how the food looks as well as how it tastes.

Suitable for ages 16 and over. Over 18s will have the opportunity to taste sakura liquer - please bring photo identification if you would like to take part. After booking you will be informed of a list of basic utensils to bring.
While we can cater for some food intolerances, due to the nature of the food being prepared this workshop may not be suitable for everyone. If you have a specific intolerance or queries please contact us in advance of booking.
£35 per ticket (price includes all ingredients)
See top of page for how to book

Watercolour Workshops with David Douglas

Friday 26 April - Friday 24 May
2 - 4pm
Abington Park Museum

Join us for another springtime edition of our watercolour workshops series led by Northamptonshire artist and teacher David Douglas. Workshops are open to adults of all abilities and offer a chance to improve techniques and meet other artists. This series offers the unique opportunity to paint in the museum with views out onto Abington Park.

Friday 26 AprilWatercolour workshop
Week 1 - Abington Park

During the first afternoon we will produce paintings focusing on the grounds of Abington Park.

Friday 3 May
Week 2 - Band Stand

For the second session we will paint watercolours focusing on the structure of the band stand.

Friday 10 May
Week 3 - Still Life

In the third week we will create still life watercolours from an arrangement of objects and artefacts found inside Abington Park Museum.

Friday 17 May
Week 4 - Portraits

The fourth workshop will tackle portraiture, where we will produce portraits of a person in period costume.

Friday 24 May
Week 5 - Interiors

The final session will involve painting watercolours of the inside of the museum. The emphasis wil be on capturing the atmosphere of the building.

£20 per workshop or £90 for the series of five.
Price includes light refreshments and basic materials.
See top of page for how to book.


The Folklore of Shoes

Friday 3 MayFolklore of Shoes Symposium
10am - 4pm
The Guildhall, St Giles Square, Northampton, NN1 1ED

Following our successful concealed shoe event in September 2017, this symposium will present the latest thinking and research on shoes in folklore. Topics will include shoe depictions and graffiti on buildings, shoes as relics, shoes in language and proverbs, and shoes in folklore stories.

In partnership with the University of Hertfordshire and the Folklore Society.
£25 Adults
Discounted price of £15 Students (see separate event on Eventbrite). Students must show a Student card on arrival.
Booking essential
See top of page for how to book

Art History Lecture Series

Towards the Third Dimension Sculptors in the Northampton Museums and Art Gallery collection
Friday 10 May - Friday 14 June
10.15am - 12.15pm
Abington Park Museum

The 19th and 20th centuries produced some extraordinary development in European and British sculpture. It is our privilige to have representative works made by some of the leading names of modern sculpture, as well as the odd surprise, in the collection of the Northampton Museums and Art Gallery. Join ProArtium (art historians Dr Conny Bailey, Dr Miriam Gill and Dr Ellie Pridgeon) as they explore the lives, works and techniques of Auguste Rodin, Paul Gaugin, Henry Moore, Elisabeth Frink and Robert Adams, for our first foray into the three-dimensional world of sculpture.

Friday 10 May
August Rodin

Tête du Jeune FemmeGaugin - La Petite Parisienne

Friday 17 May
Paul Gaugin
La Petite Parisienne

Friday 24 May
Henry Moore

Sketch and Maquette for Madonna and Child (two works)

Friday 7 June
Elisabeth Frink

Horse and Rider 5

Friday 14 June
Robert Adams

Rising Movement No 2

Speakers to be confirmed closer to the event. Please check website or the next issue of the What's on for further information nearer the time. Order of lectures correct at the time of going to press; however, availability may change or relevant guest speakers may become available in the interim. Consequently, ProArtium reserve the right to change speakers where necessary or appropriate. Any changes will be publicised as early as possible.

£6 per lecture of £25 for the whole series.
Includes light refreshments
See top of page for how to book

Mailing list

If you would like to know about future exhibitions, events and workshops please complete the online form 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.