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.

Current exhibitions

The original Clangers will be on display at Sissinghurst this winter

Clangers, Bagpuss and Co at Sissinghurst 

The magical worlds of The Clangers and Bagpuss are explored in a new exhibition organised by the Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood.

A detail from a patchwork blanket in shades of green by textile artist Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Fassett's Colour at Mottisfont 

16 September - 14 January: celebrating the dazzling work of world-renowned artist Kaffe Fassett, this vibrant exhibition showcases a wide range of textiles from a career spanning over 50 years. Our gallery has been transformed with pools of vibrant colour, providing the perfect backdrop for Kaffe’s distinctive knitwear, tapestry, quilts and more.

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.

John Singer Sargent Portrait of Miss Elsie Palmer (A Lady in White)

Queen Palmer, John Singer Sargent and their Circle at Ightham Mote 

The Queen of Ightham - An American interlude explores Queen Palmer, wife of the American railroad engineer William Jackson Palmer who founded Colorado Springs. Queen came to live at Ightham Mote with her three daughters in April 1887 and it was here that she attracted the elite of the Aesthetic Movement, including the renowned portraitist John Singer Sargent. Thanks to a generous loan from the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Sargent's portrait of Elsie Palmer, Queen's daughter, is on view. This is a unique opportunity to see a work by Sargent in the place where it was originally painted.

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.

Opening in 2018
A section of a hand-drawn illustration from Milton by William Blake

William Blake: Visions of Albion at Petworth 

Visions of Albion celebrates the three years Blake spent living in Sussex between 1800 and 1803. It unites Petworth's works by Blake with over 50 works from the British Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Tate Museum. From 13 January - 25 March 2018.

The Duet ('Le corset bleu') by Gabriel Metsu

Prized Possessions: Dutch Paintings from National Trust Houses

Celebrating the enduring British taste for collecting Dutch paintings from the long 17th century, this first-ever exhibition of Golden Age Dutch pictures from the collections of the National Trust will be shown at the Holburne Museum in Bath, opening on 25 May 2018. It will then move to the Mauritshuis in The Hague in October 2018, and then to Petworth House in West Sussex in January 2019.