Exhibitions at Nunnington Hall

The Essex Tapestries Grayson Perry

Enjoy a variety of high profile art and photography exhibitions throughout the year in our attic gallery and the hall. Celebrating the best of national works and local artists.

Stitching together the past and present
'The Essex Tapestries: The Life of Julie Cope (2015) by Grayson Perry
Saturday 8 February – Sunday 20 December

While Nunnington Hall’s 17th century Verdure tapestries are away for conservation work, The Essex House Tapestries: The Life of Julie Cope (2015) by Grayson Perry will hang in their place. These artworks represent, in Perry’s words, ‘the trials, tribulations, celebrations and mistakes of an average life’. Historically, large-scale tapestry like Nunnington’s provided a display of wealth and insulation for grand domestic interiors; Perry has juxtaposed its associations of status, wealth and heritage with the current concerns of class, social aspiration and taste. See how two very different sets of tapestries are a beautiful contradiction in design, status, storytelling and manufacture, illustrating the evolution of tapestries.
Julie Cope is a fictional character created by Grayson Perry – an Essex ‘everywoman’ whose story he has told through the two tapestries and illustrate the key events in the heroine’s journey from her birth during the Canvey Island floods of 1953 to her untimely death in a tragic accident on a Colchester street. Rich in cultural and architectural details, the tapestries contain a social history of Essex and modern Britain that everyone can relate to.

Made possible with the support of the Crafts Council.https://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/ . Purchase of Essex House Tapestries for Crafts Council Collection supported by Art fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation) and a donation from Maylis and James Grand.

The Essex Tapestries - the Life of Julie Cope by Grayson Perry
The Essex Tapestries Grayson Perry
The Essex Tapestries - the Life of Julie Cope by Grayson Perry

Cooper Abbs – A collection without a home
Saturday 8 February – Sunday 10 May

Following the tragic death of Kathleen Cooper Abbs, the ‘Cooper Abbs’ collection of furniture, books and other items were donated to the National Trust in 1975. Since then much of the collection has helped to tell the stories of people living in grand historic homes.
The exhibition will explore the history of the collection from the Rev. Cooper Abbs in the 18th Century to the drowning of Kathleen Cooper Abbs as she swam around the pier at Saltburn to raise money for charity. It will also explain and celebrate how the collection has brought life to many National Trust properties in the region.

Discover untold stories
Two ladies viewing items in a cabinet
Discover untold stories


366 Leaping Hares – Emma Stothard
Saturday 29 February – Sunday 1 November

One of Yorkshire’s leading wildlife sculptors, Emma Stothard, has created an exhibition especially for Nunnington Hall celebrating the 366 days of 2020, a leap year. One hare for every day of the 2020 calendar. The individual 366 mixed media hares include sculptures, illustrations and paintings, all displayed within the Smoking Room and set amongst its historic collection. Emma’s work aims to explore the array of materials that embody the ever-changing architecture and fabric of a historic building, while experimenting with contemporary methods. Each piece will be individually hand-finished by Emma and dated, including a special ‘golden hare’ marking the leap day, Saturday 29 February. 

360 to go
Selection of clay hare sculptures
360 to go


British Wildlife Photography Awards
Saturday 16 May – Sunday 5 July

A firm favourite and returning for another year the British Wildlife Photography Awards captures the beauty and diversity of British wildlife. Open to everyone, the collection showcases both professional and amateur photographers from across the country. Winning images are chosen from thousands of entries in fifteen separate categories including a category for film and two junior categories to encourage young people to connect with nature through photography.

Coast and Marine winner
Winning entry for BWPA 2019
Coast and Marine winner


The Big Art Attack
Saturday 18 July – Sunday 6 September
This summer we’re handing the gallery space over to young artists of the future. Join in with spontaneous ‘art in progress’ workshops offering families the opportunity to become the exhibiting artists and creators of the gallery. Throughout August try your hand at sculpture, drawing, painting and textiles workshops hosted by local artists and crafters. More details regarding workshops to come.

Release your inner artist
Young girl making a sculpture from clay
Release your inner artist


Every Picture Tells a Story
Saturday 19 September  - Sunday 1 November

Yorkshire based illustrator & printmaker Gillian Tyler returns to Nunnington Hall with work inspired by her home and her surroundings on the edge of the Peak District in Yorkshire. Enjoy a series of large hand coloured linocut prints, miniature wood engravings and illustrations from her work in publishing & children's picture books.
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Chatsworth Fox
Coloured lino print by Gillian Tyler
Chatsworth Fox


Diverse Threads – The threads of Life
Friday 20 November – Sunday 20 December (Fri, Sat, Sun only)

Christmas is a time for love and joy of friends and family, chilly country walks and once a year foodie favourites. York based artists and friends with a passion for textiles, celebrates all aspects of the season in a rich and heartwarming Christmas exhibition.

Swaledale in Winter
Emobridery
Swaledale in Winter


Carlisle Collection
Permanent collection

An amazing collection of 16 miniature rooms displaying beautifully detailed musical instruments, furniture and accessories is permanently on display at Nunnington. Gifted to the National Trust in 1970 by Mrs Carlisle, it’s regarded by many as one of the finest collections of miniatures and is noted for the high quality craftsmanship and attention to detail in every item. Look out or the complete works of Shakespeare in miniature print, instruments that produce notes when played and artwork on the walls made from framed decorative needle wrappers.

Discover the stunning miniature room collections
Nunnington Hall Carlisle Collection
Discover the stunning miniature room collections