The Usher Gallery is Lincolnshire’s premier art gallery, officially opened in 1927 following a bequest to the City by Lincoln jeweller James Ward Usher.

Following significant redevelopment in 2010, all visitors can now enter the gallery through a fully accessible glass pavilion that gives excellent views of its sister museum and Temple Gardens. Inside, a new lift allows significantly improved access to the upper galleries and their delights.

The Usher Gallery combines displays from its permanent collections of fine arts, decorative arts and horology, enhanced by loans of acclaimed works from national collections, with a vibrant programme of temporary exhibitions.

Highlights of the collections

Paintings, drawings and prints by leading British and European artists, dating from the 16th century to the present day:

  • Admire the 18th century portrait of explorer and botanist Joseph Banks painted by American artist Benjamin West.
  • Look for familiar Lincoln views in the paintings of artists such as L.S. Lowry, Peter DeWint, J.M.W. Turner and John Wilson Carmichael.
  • Discover lesser known works by Lincolnshire artists such as William Logsdail, William Warrener and Charles Haslewood Shannon.
  • Examine the exquisitely detailed miniature portraits collected by James Ward Usher.
  • Enjoy modern works by artists including Susan Wilson, Barbara Walker and Lothar Gotz.

Sculpture collections inside the gallery and outdoors in Temple Gardens:

  • Appreciate the stunning neoclassical sculptures by Joseph Nollekens, John Gibson and John Bacon.
  • Find works by turn of the 20th century artists such as Jacob Epstein and Ella Curtois.
  • Look up to see the amazing chandelier, Tide, made from washed up plastic waste by Stuart Haygarth.
  • Study the recent sculture acquisition of three 'heads' from Thomas J Price.
  • Discover the large bronze sculpture A Mighty Blow for Freedom by Michael Sandle outdoors.
  • Spot the tree ring sculpture by Edward Allington in Temple Gardens.

Decorative arts collections containing ceramics, glass, silver, enamels and jewellery:

  • Discover James Ward Usher’s founding collection of ceramics, silver and enamels.
  • Study the thought-provoking vases by Grayson Perry.
  • Admire the superb 18th century Staffordshire and Battersea enamel collection.
  • Find contemporary pieces by artists such as dmund de Waal, Clare Henshaw and Simone Ten Hompel.
  • Marvel at the quality of the 18th century Derby porcelain in the Charles Norman Collection.

Horological collections of clocks and watches from the 17th to 19th centuries:

  • Admire James Ward Usher’s beautiful collection of English and French watches.
  • Examine rare examples of longcase clocks with wooden movements by Lincolnshire clockmaker Robert Sutton, and both a longcase clock and table clock by the famous maker Thomas Tompion.
  • View longcase clocks by other Lincolnshire clockmakers including James Usher, John Stokeld, Joshua Shaw and Thomas Scott.
  • Wonder at the inner workings of the skeleton clock made in Spalding.
  • Learn about the solar system the 18th century way by looking at the orrery.

To complement the permanent collections and long term loans both the Usher Gallery and the museum host a varied programme of temporary exhibitions. Across both sites there are several spaces where a regular programme of exhibitions, from the latest contemporary art to community displays, is shown.

To discover some of the highlights of the Usher Gallery click on the interactive map on the right.  Please note displays do change so if you are travelling far to see a particular item please phone ahead of your visit.  Collections not on display may be viewed by appointment on one of our Collections Access Days.

See what’s on…

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