Colourful display in a loft space.

Visit our galleries and be inspired by our talented artists.

The gentle landscapes of Essex have inspired generations of artists. Most famous is John Constable who immortalised the scenes of north Essex. Elsewhere, the pretty village of Great Bardfield sprang to fame in the mid-20th century when it became home for the eclectic group known as the ‘Great Bardfield artists’. A wealth of contemporary talent continues to thrive in hotspots across the county from Harlow, with its treasure trove of public sculptural art, to seaside art in Wivenhoe and Leigh-on-Sea.

Come and see for yourself our range of innovative display spaces, from striking contemporary buildings to quirky art galleries, all combine to make Essex a truly memorable place to soak up centuries of creative talent.

Come and see for yourself our range of innovative display spaces, from striking contemporary buildings to quirky art galleries, all combine to make Essex a truly memorable place to soak up centuries of creative talent.

Browse all our galleries

 

Picture of a marble statue of a pregnant girl kneeling in the garden.
Pregnant Girl Kneeling by Andy Elton
Glass sculptures.
Glass sculptures by Dr Heike Brachlow
Picture of a wired man sitting in a pond surrounded by flowers and grasses.
Burnham Art Trail
Colourful stained glass panel of Thames Sailing Barges.
Stained-glass panel by Ian Hughes
Picture of a colourful glass butterfly.
Climate change Butterfly by Corrina Dunlea

Inspiring galleries

Picture of the iconic Firstsite building at night.

Set in parkland sweeping down to Colchester’s Roman wall, this iconic golden-clad gallery features a changing programme of exhibitions by contemporary international artists as well as creative events and activities for the whole family, including films and workshops.

Interior of Sir Alfred's studio with a horse sculpture on a table and lots of paintings on the wall.

Sir Alfred Munnings lived in Castle House for over 40 years. Restored today, it contains a superb collection of his paintings, including many of the rural scenes he loved. There are also lovely gardens to explore, Sir Alfred’s studio, left just as it was when he last used it and a Café.

Gibberd Gallery. Find out more about the attraction.

Permanently on display is the important 20th century watercolour collection donated by Sir Frederick Gibberd, which includes pieces by Edward Bawden, John Piper and John Nash. An exciting program of temporary exhibitions is curated throughout the year.

Image of a car standing upright on its boot

Focal Point Gallery is south Essex’s gallery for contemporary visual art, promoting and commissioning major solo exhibitions, group and thematic shows, a programme of events including performances, film screenings and talks, as well as offsite projects and temporary public artworks.

More galleries for you to visit

Painting of a blue jug with colourful flowers in it.

A contemporary art gallery displaying a wide selection of original art, ceramics, sculpture and glassware. With an ever expanding stable of artists and regular exhibitions throughout the year, there is always something new and different to see.

INnterior shot of the art space within the narrow tower.

Situated on the scenic Naze headland, this octagonal landmark, once a shipping beacon, is today a thriving art gallery, representing a unique marriage of history and contemporary art. Climb to the rooftop for amazing panoramic views.

Interior shot of the gallery with displays and pictures on the wall.

Next door to firstsite, this beautiful listed Georgian building is home to Colchester School of Art’s public gallery and showcases a range of contemporary art. It also includes an excellent café surrounded by a walled garden.

Picture of the exterior of this ultra modern building.

Located in the heart of Wivenhoe, a culturally vibrant small town in Essex, the gallery hosts varied exhibitions of paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings and pottery of East Anglian and nationally famed artists.

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Featured places to visit

Audley End House and Gardens

Saffron Walden 01799 522842

2 for 1 entry to Audley End House
 
 
 
Layer Marney Tower

Colchester 01206 330784

 
 
 
Hedingham Castle

Halstead 01787 460261

 
 

Featured accommodation

Glamping at Layer Marney Tower

£299-£779 pupw sleeps 2, Colchester

 
 
The Lodge at Hedingham Castle

VisitEngland 3 Star Self-catering £990-£6930 pupw sleeps 17, Castle Hedingham

 
 
Down Hall Country House Hotel

AA 4 Star Hotel £99-£159 prpnb, Bishop's Stortford

 
 
Bouncers Farm

Self-assessed Accessibility Information £40-£120 pupn sleeps 2-6, Maldon