Celebrities, musicians, actors and artists of Georgian Bath come under a new spotlight when an exhibition dedicated to their incredible stories opens at the Victoria Art Gallery.
In the 18th century, Bath was second only to London for the quality and variety of music, art and theatre on offer. Musicians, artists and actors would come to the city to entertain the wealthy spa visitors. Here they would develop their skills and attract a following and a good reputation before moving on to further fame and fortune in London.
Entertainment in Bath is based on works in the Victoria Art Gallery’s collection, as well as loans from the National Portrait Gallery and Royal Collection Trust. They depict the creative stars of Georgian Bath and the venues where they performed. The exhibition touches upon some of the less obvious ‘entertainments’ in the city, from gambling and prostitution to learned societies and fashionable chapels. We will also bring the story right up to the present day, covering pop concerts at the Pavilion and Victoria Park, WOMAD and the Bath International Music Festival.
Portraits by Gainsborough, Bath’s society painter at the time, and works by the Georgian comic artist, Thomas Rowlandson, feature in the exhibition. Gambling paraphernalia and instruments similar to those played by musicians such as William Herschel also appear. Admission includes a free audioguide.
Entertainment in Bath will be brought to life by special performances by Bath Spa University drama students, Saturdays 10, 17 and 24 February, 12pm – 2pm
Location: Victoria Art Gallery
When: 13 January – 14 March