Exhibition: Portraits by Oliver Messel

Portrait of Oliver Messel

Oliver Messel was a world renowned designer, enjoying great success predominantly in the theatre. Nymans' new exhibition examines his lesser known talent as a portrait painter, with a unique collection of portraits and archive material, including loans from the Bristol Theatre archive, Rupert Maas Gallery and members of the Messel family.

Exhibition opens Saturday 20 January until Sunday 3 June 2018. 

'Portraits by Oliver' includes imtimate portraits of friends and family members including Oliver's sister, Anne, Countess of Rosse.  The exhibition also features portraits Oliver painted during the time he spent living in Barbados in the 1960s. 

While resident on the island, Oliver regularly invited famous friends to stay, including the Venezuelan fashion designer Carolina Herrera, Bianca Jagger and Caroline Warner, daughter of the famous movie producer; painting their portraits as they holidayed with him. 

" I love the human face...to me, there's endless variety and scope in painting people's faces. "
- Oliver Messel

With photos of some of his famous friends sitting for their portrait, articles from the Bristol Theatre archive, letters from his nephew photographer Lord Snowdon and artefacts on loan from the family, we tell the story of Oliver the portrait artist. 

Open from 11am with last admission 30 minutes before closing.