In the Lake District, landscape and culture are inextricably entwined.  For 200 years, the lakes and fells have inspired individuals who have responded in their writing and art.  Many continue to be drawn here not only by the scenery but also by the vibrant cultural inheritance. For over a century it has been the aim of the Armitt, through its combination of Gallery, Museum and Library, holding a diverse collection of art, photographs, documents and objects to encapsulate and articulate this great heritage. The Museum’s collections are many and varied, covering Beatrix Potter, John Ruskin, Charlotte Maon and many others.

The Armitt Collection owns or has on loan some 23 works by Schwitters, including the fine portraits of Dr Johnston, Harry Pierce and his wife, his son Bill, and many others. The collection includes landscapes and a Merz assemblage entitled “Wood on Wood“. There are also some pencil sketches on loan. In December 2011 the Armitt added to its collection of Schwitter’s works with the acquisition of his oil painting The Bridge House in Ambleside, and in 2014 two further paintings, The Old Mill, Ambleside and Untitled (Vase of Flowers) through the generosity of the Art Fund and the V&A Purchase Fund. All our Schwitters work is on permanent display.

The Armitt Collection has an extensive collection of books, biographies, catalogues, newspaper cuttings etc on the life of Kurt Schwitters,  providing a resource for students of the artist.

The Armitt Museum also offers exhibitions. Those currently available are:

Beatrix Potter:
More than just storytelling – there was so much more to Beatrix Potter than just her creation of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-duck and Mrs Tiggywinkle. The Armitt shares the stories of a passionate environmentalist and keen farmer, as well as displaying some of her amazing fungi watercolours.

Visions of Land:
A brand new exhibition showcasing a number of artworks from The Armitt’s collection that have never been shown before. The display encourages the visitor to think about the land as an expression of its people, what they thought important, and how we see, think, and feel about it today.

Defender of the Lakes – a new exhibition focusing on the life and work of Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley and his dedication to protecting and preserving the Lake District. A benefactor, patron, donor, and sponsor, he was a true pioneer. The exhibition features items from the Keswick School of Industrial Art that Rawnsley founded with his wife in 1884.


Caption: Kurt Schwitters, London 1944


Further information:
  • Open every Thursday – Sunday 10.00 am – 5.00 pm, plus Bank Holidays, until the end of October 2021
  • Location: The Armitt Museum & Library, Rydal Road, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9BL
  • Admission: Adults £6.00; students £4.00; children under 16 free. Art Fund Members: free
  • Contact:Tel. 015394 31212; email: