Turner's Wessex - Architecture and Ambition

Turner's Wessex - Architecture and Ambition Salisbury from Old Sarum - Copyright: The Salisbury Museum

Friday, May 22, 2015 to Sunday, September 27, 2015


Advanced booking is not essential - but they can be booked online here


Same as normal museum admission - all museum tickets are ANNUAL PASSES

In May 2015 we will mount the first ever exhibition devoted to J M W Turner’s drawings and paintings of Salisbury Cathedral, the city and its surroundings. Situated in the Cathedral Close, directly opposite its west front, the Museum is ideally placed to explore Turner’s relationship with Salisbury and the Cathedral. This relationship began when Turner was a young man and reveals formidable talent and ambition from a very early age.

Working with the Turner scholar Ian Warrell, we have focused on three aspects of Turner’s many depictions of the Salisbury area: firstly, his responses to the Cathedral and town, particularly in connection with the commission he received from local antiquarian, Sir Richard Colt Hoare who inherited the large Stourhead Estate in 1785; secondly the series of views of the neo-gothic Fonthill Abbey that he painted for ‘England’s wealthiest son’, the fascinating and eccentric William Beckford; and finally his work recording the area of central, southern England, sometimes known as Wessex, extending over a period of thirty years.
Alongside Turner’s works from the Museum’s collection, this exhibition will include extensive loans from museums and art galleries across the UK including Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, British Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum, National Galleries Scotland, V & A and Whitworth Art Gallery. The exhibition will also be supported by a substantial loan from the Tate collection. 
This promises to be a unique and exciting exhibition, which will be supported by a programme of events including lectures by Turner scholars, artist workshops, trails around the Close, Cathedral and City to enable the visitor to stand where Turner himself stood to make his work, and Turner-inspired family activities.
We are grateful to our many generous supporters, including the Arts Council, Foyle Foundation, The Golden Bottle Trust, Henry C.Hoare Charitable Trust, The Idlewild Trust, Opus Energy, The Sackler Trust, Smith & Williamson, Wiltshire Council, Winkworth and Woolley & Wallis Fine Art Auctioneers.
Tickets can now be booked online. Please note that all tickets for Salisbury Museum are ANNUAL PASSES and are valid for one year.
The museum will also be organising tours of Salisbury at 2pm on Wednesdays and Sundays for the duration of the exhibition - highlighting the places where Turner painted. These can also be booked in advance here.
Group booking information and a group booking form are available in the documents section of this website..