9th November 2019 - 18th April 2020

Coronavirus – event postponed

At this very concerning time for all of us the health and wellbeing of visitors, staff and volunteers is of the utmost importance to the South West Heritage Trust.

For that reason the Trust has taken the decision to postpone or cancel all planned events up to the end of May and to review later events in due course.

If you have booked and paid in advance for an event, please contact us and we would be happy to provide a refund.

You can email us at museumofsomerset@swheritage.org.uk or phone 01823 255088

In light of the rapidly-changing national picture we’ll be updating our website regularly with the latest information about Trust sites and activity.

Tristram Hillier RA (1905–1983) was one of the most accomplished and distinctive 20th-century British artists. Painting for many years from a base in Somerset, he created pictures in a uniquely intense and memorable style.

Opening on Saturday 9 November ‘Landscapes of the Mind: The Art of Tristram Hillier’ brings together over 50 pictures from private lenders and from national and regional collections. Major works include ‘Variation on the Form of an Anchor’ and ‘La Route des Alpes’ from the collections of Tate Britain and ‘Pylons’ and ‘Quantoxhead’ from National Galleries Scotland. It is the first retrospective of Hillier’s work in more than 30 years.

“This show of Tristram Hillier’s paintings is long overdue” Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times Lead Art Critic

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Avant Garde Modernism

Many of Hillier’s paintings evoke an air of other-worldliness. Incongruous objects and the use of unreal perspectives add a surreal quality. He was part of the Avant Garde modernist group, Unit One, led by Paul Nash. Outstanding paintings by Nash, Edward Wadsworth and Ben Nicholson, lent by Tate Britain, also feature in the exhibition.

Works Full of Symbolism

The works on display are full of intriguing symbolism for the viewer to unravel. Harnesses, anchors, pylons and abandoned signs of human activity appear repeatedly in his paintings. Subject matter spans landscape, seascapes, architecture, still-life and religious themes.

The exhibition also explores Hillier’s long and complex relationship with Somerset and contrasts it with his life in Spain and Portugal. Pictures from home and abroad feature.

Visit the Exhibition

The exhibition is open 9 November 2019 to 18 April 2020.

Late night exhibition opening – Thursdays in March until 7.00 pm

The charge for this exhibition is Give What You Think.


This ambitious exhibition, bringing great art to Somerset, has been made possible thanks to Arts Council England and the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund.

Dates and locations

The Museum of Somerset
  • Saturday, 9th November 2019 - Saturday, 18th April 2020, 10:00 - 5:00