Shell and the Art of Advertising

Tristram Hillier's poster features in the exhibition

Tristram Hillier's poster features in the exhibition

The father of Viscount Bearsted, owner of Upton House in the 1930s, founded the Shell oil company.

This exhibition brings together Shell's groundbreaking advertising campaigns of the 1930s and the fortune and philanthropy of Viscount Bearsted, chairman of Shell at the time.


Until January 2015

  • A new exhibition in the Squash Court Gallery
  • Original artwork from Shell's ground breaking advertising campaigns of the 1930s
  • Over 30 framed posters showing the richness and diversity of their creators
  • See the work of Graham Sutherland, John Piper and others
  • Showcasing one of the most recognisable campaigns, 'People prefer Shell'
  • How a fortune made from oil was turned to philanthropy, arts patronage and helping the flee to freedom of wartime jews
  • Open 1pm to 5pm except Thursdays
  • Included within normal admission charge, adult £7, members free

Previous exhibitions

Glenn Brown

Copywright image of The Shallow End for Glenn Brown Curator Event Upton © Glenn Brown

From late 2012 into 2013 Glenn Brown, Turner prize nominated British contemporary artist, displayed various works at Upton House. It was the first art exhibition to be held in the new Squash Gallery.

Upton's Backs to the Future

Upton Backs to the Future exhibition displays the hidden side of paintings © Mike Perry

In early 2014 Upton gave visitors a rare view into a world normally seen only by owners of art, curators and galleries. The back of a painting is an insight into its pulse.

Sigrid Holmwood

Touch, painted by Sigrid Holmwood for Upton House © Sigrid Holmwood

As part of its Year of Art celebrations in 2012 Upton commissioned contemporary artist, Sigrid Holmwood, for two new works  inspired by the collection of Old Masters on display ion the house.