Special exhibitions

Each year we host major exhibitions at some of our most iconic buildings and outdoor spaces. Some celebrate the people who hold special connections to those places; some shed new light on their histories. Others explore different aspects of our collections, from paintings and sculpture to interior design and photography. Our Trust New Art exhibitions showcase contemporary artwork inspired by our places.

Here are some highlights of what’s on now and what's coming soon.

Opening soon

A painting of waves crashing on rocks by artist Bron Stubbington

The Mottisfont Open Exhibition 2018 

Opening on 15 September, this year's Mottisfont Open Exhibition reveals an exciting mix of almost 100 works, from artists of all backgrounds and selected by a panel of arts specialists. It showcases a variety of media and styles, from drawings and paintings to sculpture, other 3D works, and several textile pieces.

Inflatable tiger and tea table in The Tiger Who Came to Tea exhibition

The Tiger Who Came to Tea exhibition at Quarry Bank 

From Saturday 8 September to Sunday 28 October 2018 you can meet The Tiger Who Came to Tea at Quarry Bank. Join us to celebrate children's stories old and new as we explore the Quarry Bank Worker's Library alongside the interactive exhibition.

Current exhibitions

The garden at Nymans painted by Alfred Parsons

The Triumph of Hope exhibition at Nymans, Sussex 

This summer exhibition explores the lives of three women who influenced the garden's design at Nymans. Focusing on their creative legacy and social circles, the displays highlight each of their unique contributions. Part of the Trust's Women and Power programme,

Lydia Denno, designer, standing in front The Word Defiant!

The Word Defiant! 

Blickling Estate in Norfolk is home to our largest and most significant library. In response to the conservation threats facing this collection, award-winning theatre company Les Enfants Terribles have created an immersive art installation. Until October.

The State Dressing Room at Nostell, West Yorkshire

Interior Worlds: Chippendale at Nostell 

Thomas Chippendale is one of the most significant and influential designers in English history and 2018 marks 300 years since his birth. Chippendale created a new world of interiors for Nostell, supplying the house with over 100 items of furniture, wallpaper and textiles and we're celebrating the anniversary with a host of exhibitions, events and activities. From 13 July – October.

A Woman's Place installation at Knole, Kent

A Women’s Place: Various artists at Knole, Kent 

Discover the work of six high profile contemporary female artists as they highlight the progression towards female equality. Inspired by stories of the women who have contributed to the spirit & history of Knole, Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid, along with CJ Mahony, Lindsay Seers, Emily Speed, Alice May Williams and Melanie Wilson have been commissioned by curators Day+Gluckman to respond to and uncover these hidden histories.

Powis Portraits

House of Portraits at Powis  

This exhibition at Powis Castle in Welshpool will give visitors the chance to see one of the Trust’s recently acquired treasures. A Jacobean miniature, painted by Isaac Oliver (1565-1617), depicting Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury, a philosopher, diplomat, musician, poet and all-round celebrity of his day, posing as a romantic knight.

Virginia Woolf sits in her room at Monk's House

A Room of One's Own events 

See the lives of pioneering women brought to life through art, poetry, and film. We've asked female artists, writers and academics to tell the often untold stories of the women connected to five of our special places.

A pencil sketch depicting two lovers sitting on a bench under a tree

Beyond Ophelia at Wightwick Manor 

Although she was a professional member of the Pre-Raphaelites, Lizzie Siddal is largely remembered today as the model in Sir John Everett Millais' 'Ophelia' (Tate Britain), or as the wife and muse of Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. This exhibition, only the second to be devoted exclusively to her artwork, reinstates Siddal as an important and influential artist and poet in her own right.

Mark Wallinger's The Writ in Water installation at Runnymede, Surrey

Writ in Water, Mark Wallinger in collaboration with Studio Octopi at Runnymede, Surrey 

Reflect and re-imagine at Runnymede through a new public artwork - Writ in Water. At a site where over 800 years ago the feudal barons forced King John to seal the Magna Carta, Turner Prize winning artist Mark Wallinger, in collaboration with architectural practice Studio Octopi, has created a tranquil space offering you the chance to consider the ongoing significance and influences of Magna Carta. Commissioned in association with Situations.

Chippendale green dressing table with open drawer

Chippendale Revealed: online exhibition 

On 5 June we launched ‘Chippendale Revealed’, an online exhibition which includes specially commissioned photography showing previously unseen aspects of Thomas Chippendale’s furniture at Nostell Priory and showcasing the expertise of the National Trust's Furniture Research & Cataloguing team.

A suffragette meeting from 1906

Votes for Women: A touring exhibition exploring the fight for female suffrage 

We’re partnering with the National Portrait Gallery on a touring exhibition of rarely seen paintings, drawings, photographs and archival documents, from surveillance photographs of militant suffragettes to portraits of the key players in the suffrage movement.

The Garden Room at Basildon Park

Reimagining of India at Basildon Park 

The Garden room at Basildon Park has been transformed into a temporary exhibition space to reflect Basildon Park's association with India. Local community input and Lady Iliffe's original intentions for the room combine to create an immersive space that reflects Indian culture, past and present.

Night and Sleep be Evelyn De morgan

William and Evelyn De Morgan at Wightwick Manor 

In partnership with the De Morgan foundation, a new exhibition exploring the work of Evelyn and William De Morgan has opened at Wightwick Manor in Wolverhampton. Hosted in The Malthouse, a new purpose-built gallery space, the exhibition showcases some of Evelyn De Morgan's most iconic works including Night and Sleep, as well as a fantastic array of plates, vases and tile panels by William De Morgan.

Humphry Morice a painting by Pompeo Batoni

At Home with Art: Treasures from the Ford Collection at Basildon Park 

See nearly 70 objects from art historian Sir Brinsley Ford’s extraordinary collection, on loan from Augustine Ford. An avid collector from the age of eleven, Ford built on the art collection inherited from his father and grandfather. By the time of his death in 1999 he had amassed over 1500 works of art that included Old Master paintings, 20th-century British pictures, sculpture and decorative arts.

Visitor walking through 'The Golden Box'

Croome's collection returns with a twist 

Historical objects from the 6th Earl of Coventry’s collection have returned to Croome. Very important pieces that have been absent for over 70 years - including Lord Coventry's exquisite Meissen, Worcester and Sèvres porcelain - are presented in unique ways. Two artists exhibit new installations, The Golden Box and Chair Play, celebrating Croome's collection treasures and furniture.