Major new British art exhibition to open at Salisbury Museum

Issued: 28 February 2017

‘British Art: Ancient Landscapes’ will open at The Salisbury Museum on 8 April and run until 3 September.

This major new exhibition is curated by Professor Sam Smiles, Emeritus Professor of Art History at the University of Plymouth and brings together his life-long passion for the history of art and a deep fascination for archaeology. The exhibition represents a first both for the museum and for Sam, as it the first show dedicated exclusively to artistic views of British prehistory and includes works by British artists from the 18th century to the present day.

The result is an exhibition that will feature some of the greatest names in British Art from the last 250 years. The work of artists such as John Constable, JMW Turner and William Blake will be familiar, but these monuments have continued to inspire artistic responses into the modern period, too, as shown by Eric Ravilious, John Piper, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Paul Nash, Richard Long, Derek Jarman and Jeremy Deller. Putting these artists into conversation with one another reveals how this landscape has been re-imagined by successive generations.

The museum has many themed events running alongside the exhibition, which will include the opportunity to hear Sam talk exclusively about the exhibition at a Private View on 26 April. An exciting programme of speakers throughout the summer blends archaeology and art history and includes:

• Professor Richard Bradley talking about ''Rock art' - prehistoric art in the prehistoric landscape'
• James Russell who curated ‘Ravilious’ at Dulwich Picture Gallery (2015) talking about ‘Eric Ravilious: Downland Man’
• Anna and Patrick Dillon, artist and cultural ecologist talking about ‘The Draw of the Ancient Landscape’
• Dr Jim Leary, Director of Archaeology Field School at the University of Reading talking about ‘The Vale of Pewsey Project’

The exhibition will further be illuminated by opportunities to walk in the ancient landscape with expert photographers and archaeologists. Marketing Officer, Louise Tunnard said, “We are so fortunate to live alongside the ancient landscapes that inspired these wonderful artists, and which remain relatively unchanged since pre historic times. I am hoping that we will inspire visitors to the exhibition to walk these landscapes too and discover their enduring appeal.”


The Long Man of Wilmington 1939
Eric Ravilious
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London


British Art: Ancient Landscapes
8 April – 3 September 2017

No booking required
Normal admission charges apply*
£7.50 Adults, £3.60 Children

*From 1 April 2017

Museum opening hours:

Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sundays 12 midday – 5pm


There will be a catalogue to accompany this exhibition

‘British Art: Ancient Landscapes’ by Sam Smiles
Published by Paul Holberton

For catalogue press enquiries, please contact:

Katherine Bogden Bayard
Publicist | Paul Holberton publishing
89 Borough High Street
London SE1 1NL

(44) +20 7407 0809
katherine [at]

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Press Contact:
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