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Exhibitions at our museums

More information about the latest exhibitions at our museums.



Edward King: a life in art
At Portsmouth Museum


Painting by Edward King showing bomb damage

Artist Edward King was a patient at St James' Hospital in Portsmouth from 1926 until his death in 1951 aged 89. He continued to paint and documented the hospital grounds, the houseboats at nearby Milton Locks and the aftermath of the bomb damage from the Blitz in the city. This new display includes around 70 paintings plus photographs, archival material and objects from Portsmouth's museum collections.


Night Raid on Portsmouth Docks by Richard Eurich ©Tate, London 2016

Night Raid on Portsmouth Docks by Richard Eurich is currently on loan from the Tate Gallery as part of the 76th Anniversary of the Blitz bombings in Portsmouth. It is the first time this painting has been on display here so a unique chance to see it outside of London.

As part of the Edward King: A life in art exhibition, it complements the Blitz series of paintings that King did as both artists were independently documenting different parts of the city at the same time. The dockyard was an area which King did not have access to so this painting completes the story of Portsmouth in 1941.

In Portsmouth, as an official war artist Richard Eurich had unrestricted access and was permitted to accompany the Navy; he made the drawings for this iconic painting the day after the heavy bombings in January 1941. He then returned to London and worked on finalising the painting, which was completed in 1942. At the centre of Eurich’s  painting is a vessel from an earlier conflict: HMS Victory, Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Its presence in the composition recalls a glorious naval history amid the chaos and destruction of the Blitz.

On display until 25 June, admission free


Game Over: The Future of the Past
At Portsmouth Museum

Portsmouth Museum and Game Over are proud to present Game Over: The Future of the Past, the largest single private collection of TV games, home computers and consoles on display in the UK. From the first Pong TV game to the latest PlayStation console, this new free exhibition spans over 4o years of home video gaming.

Practice your retro gaming skills on a hand-picked selection of playable consoles and explore the history of the video game with over 100 machines on display. An exciting programme of events will be running alongside the exhibition, including the chance to make your own video-game inspired pixel-artworks with local artist Kendal James. Game Over: The Future of the Past is a hands-on experience for veteran gamers and newbies alike - don’t miss it.


An A to Z of Natural History
At Portsmouth Natural History Museum, Cumberland House

Flamingo in A to Z exhibition

The natural world is incredible! Portsmouth Museums has over 114,000 natural science specimens collected both in the south east of England and further afield.

The A to Z of Natural History display features a selection of them. From tiny insects, to fossils which are millions of years old, you will be amazed at the variety in the city's collections!

There are several reasons for keeping and caring for natural science specimens.  They can be a valuable resource for helping us to understand the world around us, providing useful information about the flora and fauna in an area at a particular time.  Scientists can identify and analyse changes and predict trends for the future by comparing specimens from the same place collected at different times.  We hope that you enjoy this new display and that it inspires you to take a closer look at the natural world where you live.

Please note, Cumberland House Natural History Museum is closed until April 2017 for maintenance and building work.


Where are you going? Journeys in pictures from the collections of Portsmouth Museums
At Portsmouth Museum

Portsmouth's collections include many works of art that show people on the move. In this selection of paintings, photographs and prints people use different types of transport to travel on land, by water and in the air. Some pictures show recognisable places and familiar journeys - ferry trips on the Solent and people travelling around the city by bicycle or on foot. Others depict less obvious journeys and are more open to interpretation. So come on down to Portsmouth Museum and see where we can take you.

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