Excess and the Everyday

This is a historic exhibition. It is no longer available to visit and this page is only retained as a record of the previous event. For current and future exhibitions, visit our What's On page.

Still life exhibition

'Silver and Spode', by the artist Allan Douglass Mainds


Until 2 September 2023 (historic exhibition)


Still life has proved a popular subject in Western art since the 17th century. Historic still life paintings frequently pictured luxury items of the day in order to celebrate material pleasures such as food and wine, as well as to warn of the temporality of these pleasures and the brevity of human life.

Since the late 19th century, artists and makers have generally used simpler still life arrangements as a way of demonstrating skill or for formal experimentation. Some examples of still life from the Shipley’s painting and craft collections are on display in this gallery.