Pre-Raphaelite Artist of Hope – Evelyn De Morgan

17 July 2021 – 5 June 2022

Artist of Hope is an exhibition of stunning work by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Evelyn De Morgan which features 45 of her symbolic paintings. Alongside these artworks are stories of people from Lancashire who have served on the frontline at different times in history. The show has been curated with the help of community partners including Blind Veterans UK, Child Action North West, local Syrian refugees and asylum seekers, and nurses from Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Defying the conventions of the deeply conservative Victorian society she was raised in, Evelyn De Morgan dared to be different and studied at the prestigious Slade School of Art, before being invited to exhibit at the exclusive Grosvenor Gallery when she was just 20 years old. This was an astonishing achievement for a woman at the time. Her hope for a feminist future is highlighted in the paintings on display in the exhibition.

Hopeful symbols we recognise – rainbows, light, dawn – make De Morgan’s paintings relevant to our shared experience of navigating the pandemic.

Alongside De Morgan’s oil paintings and pastel works, Towneley Hall’s own mysterious painting, Destiny by John William Waterhouse is also on display as it was painted for the artist’s war fund, and a sketch for The Golden Stairs by Edward Burne-Jones is included to showcase De Morgan’s Pre-Raphaelite contemporaries.


Caption: Queen Eleanor & Fair Rosamund. Evelyn De Morgan, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


Further information:
  • Opening hours are May to November: Saturday to Thursday 12 until 4.45pm
    (last entry at 4pm.)

  • Location:  Towneley Hall Museum, Towneley Park, Burnley BB11 3RQ

  • Cost: to reflect the temporary closure of some of the spaces the day admission fee has been reduced to £2.75 per adult. Annual passes are still available for £5.50.

  • Contact: Tel: 01282 477130;