In the centre of Bath, the lovely Victoria Art Gallery is an inspiring choice of venue for a drinks reception, networking event or private view.
Near Bath Abbey and the Guildhall, this building was named to celebrate Queen Victoria's sixty years on the throne. It houses a fine collection of paintings, sculpture, glassware and decorative arts, including works by Gainsborough, Sickert, Nash and Klee. The building consists of the stylish Upper Gallery and a more contemporary Lower Gallery, with an inviting marble entrance hall and grand staircase.
Take a walk through the inspiring Victoria Art Gallery using the virtual tour below.
Let us know if you'd like a guided virtual venue visit. We will join you on a virtual tour, answer your questions in real time, and highlight the key points of interest relevant to your event.
Our friendly and experienced team will help you every step of the way, from planning, logistics through to being there to support you on the day.
At the Victoria Art Gallery, you are free to choose your own suppliers although we do have a list of people and businesses who have worked well in our venues previously.
Please do get in touch if you have any queries or ideas you would like to discuss with the team.
At the Victoria Art Gallery you can choose either the contemporary Lower Gallery or the more traditional Upper Gallery as the setting for your business event.
If you are looking to spark conversation and engage your guests, choose this quirky venue for a drinks reception or networking event.
The Upper and Lower Galleries are both beautiful spaces in which to entertain and inspire your guests.
Capacities & pricing
Privately hire the Victoria Art Gallery out of hours and allow yourself time to really savour the current exhibition on display.
Especially useful during blockbuster shows, you can avoid the crowds and appreciate exciting exhibitions in your own time with colleagues or clients.Although perfect for intimate groups, up to 150 guests can enjoy an exhibition privately.
You could also upgrade your visit to include a drinks reception in the Upper Gallery or consider booking the curator for a private introduction to the exhibition.
Capacity & pricing
A short history of the Victoria Art Gallery
In the 1890s many local people supported the project to build Bath’s public art gallery. Led by the Mayor, Councillor George Woodiwiss, funds were raised and works of art given to form a public collection. This groundswell of local support and sense of shared ownership has remained a hallmark of the Victoria Art Gallery ever since, emphatically making it the ‘people’s gallery’.
The Gallery was named after Queen Victoria; a civic tribute to a much-loved monarch. 1897, the year of her Golden Jubilee, saw the laying of the foundation stone. The building opened three years later, adorned by a crown atop the building’s distinctive dome. A statue of Queen Victoria was soon added to the Bridge Street façade, paid for by the women of Bath. The Gallery’s collection grew quickly, with over 500 works of art being donated in its first decade.
The building was designed by John McKean Brydon, a lover of classical design. He was thus well able to create a building that could merge with the Guildhall and complement the surrounding Georgian cityscape. Brydon was clearly proud of the building, donating a copy of the Parthenon Frieze to adorn the top-lit gallery. Downstairs was Bath’s new library. It moved to larger premises in 1989 and the Gallery expanded to fill the space with a new more contemporary gallery which hosts a year-round programme of high-quality temporary exhibitions.
The Gallery continues to enjoy widespread public support. It is visited by thousands of tourists every year and by more local residents than any other museum in Bath; and it has a thriving and supportive Friends organisation. Thanks to the generosity of individual donors and organisations including the Art Fund and the National Lottery Heritage Fund the Gallery’s collection continues to grow. Throughout the country, local authorities are trustworthy guardians of public museum collections that reflect thousands of generous individuals who have entrusted their treasured possessions into public ownership for others to enjoy forever.
The majority of the Victoria Art Gallery’s collection has come in this way, mostly from local people. It is an important resource for leisure, inspiration and education, and is available to everyone, whether on display or in store.