Nature in Art is the world’s first museum dedicated exclusively to fine, decorative and applied art inspired by nature.
Our growing collection is housed in a fine Georgian mansion dating from the mid 1700’s. We regularly change our displays and have a vibrant programme of temporary exhibitions supported by an unrivalled programme of artists in residence. International in scope, appeal and stature, Nature in Art is a must for all those interested in world-class art, nature and heritage.
The museum has twice been specially commended in the National Heritage Museum of the Year Awards. With a licensed coffee shop serving meals, plus gardens, free parking and a beautiful setting it’s a wonderful place to visit.
Nature in Art is run by Nature in Art Trust which was established in 1982 (then called the Society for Wildlife Art of the Nations).
In May 2018, the museum celebrated the 30th anniversary of opening its doors to the public.
One of the glorious things about the museums community and the family of institutions that make it up is its diversity. Not just diversity within collections but between collections. Together they provide opportunities for inspiration, learning and, perhaps most importantly, discovery. One might think that there was hardly anything that could not be addressed in depth through one or more of these collections, but, just as Nature in Art appears to have plugged a gap in the selection of publicly accessible museums, one suspects that there are many more gaps still to be filled.
Man is a painter and always has been. As early as 25,000 BC the subjects of his first paintings were animals. It is surely a remarkable fact that, while nature was the first subject for man's artistic attention, it was largely overlooked for thousands of years and has only in the last four centuries again become an important stimulus to his creative endeavour.
Perhaps then it is a surprise that, as far as we know, it was not until the opening of Nature in Art in 1988 that the heritage of art inspired by nature has been exclusively collected, displayed and celebrated. While national art collections in many countries have been notable for the breadth and variety of their subject matter and the magnificent quality of the work they exhibit, they have largely neglected works of art depicting nature. Boosted by the growth all around the world of a sense of public and individual responsibility for conservation of the environment and our heritage in nature, and for inter-cultural dialogue, there is a new awareness of the value of fine examples of works of art from around the world which depict living things.
Back in 1982 when the charity that owns and runs Nature in Art was established – at that time with no money, no collection and no building, it’s only asset was a ‘good idea’ and enthusiasm – a self-sustaining professional museum focusing on art inspired by nature was an unachievable dream in the opinion of many experts. Yet by 1988, a small collection had been assembled and sufficient funding to purchase and then convert a fine Georgian mansion was raised from countless sources enabling the museum to open free of debt. Still today, without any guaranteed ongoing public or private funding, the museum has remained debt-free and recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.
This website gives you a snapshot of the activities of the museum and a very small glimpse of some of its collections.
About Nature in Art