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Work begins to restore roof at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

Vital work has started to repair the 220-year-old roof of Brighton Art Gallery & Museum to bring the Grade II listed building up to 21st century requirements.

This major building project, led by Brighton & Hove Museums, will enhance the care of the collections housed within the space as well as the visitor experience. The work will improve carbon performance and provide better access to the space for both staff and contractors.

A structural survey in 2019 found the building, one of the first purpose-built museums in the UK, needs urgent repairs. Funded by a grant of £1,463,769 by Arts Council England and £500k from Brighton & Hove City Council, work has begun to decant items into storage in key areas.

Gallery closures

The museum is expected to close completely for a short while in August 2024 for around one month. For most of the building project, the majority of Brighton Museum will remain open although two galleries – the 20th Century Gallery and Mr Willett’s Popular Pottery Gallery – will be closed.

Other galleries such as Fashion, World Art, Egyptian, Archaeology, Fine Art, Prints and Drawings and Queer the Pier will remain accessible as normal via the front entrance and side galleries. Our exciting programme of temporary exhibitions such as the ABBA: One Week in Brighton and the upcoming Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition opening in September will continue.

20th Century Gallery to be rejuvenated

The 20th Century Gallery, below the glass lanterns showcases three influential artists: Pablo Picasso, Eric Ravilious and Grayson Perry, and displays furniture by significant British and European designers and manufacturers c1880 to the present.

Once the roof repairs are completed, we will have the opportunity to rejuvenate the central gallery space below.

Collections will gradually be removed from the 20th Century Gallery over the summer.

CEO of the Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust Hedley Swain said: “Brighton Museum & Art Gallery is an important historic building, part of the Royal Pavilion estate. It’s so important that buildings like this are maintained for the benefit of current and future generations.

“Visitors to the museum will be able to appreciate our artworks and exhibitions knowing the building is more sustainable, energy-efficient with better lighting and ventilation.

“We are so grateful to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Arts Council England for this important award from the Cultural Investment Funds, including Museum Estate and Development Fund (MEND) and Brighton & Hove City Council to whom we are also deeply grateful.”


Conservation assistant moves items from 20th Century Gallery in preparation of roof project
Conservation assistant begins moving items from 20th Century gallery in preparation for roof repairs at Brighton Museum