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Kent Art Museums and Galleries

Visitors to Kent who are interested in art can visit a number of fine art museums and galleries. They house collections that mostly consist of artworks by the local artists although some of them also keep collections and pieces of artworks which are of equal importance to those housed by the national museums and galleries. Listed below are only a few of many Kent art museums and galleries that will not disappoint you if you like art.

Royal Museum and Art Gallery

Royal Museum and Art Gallery. One of the most famous Kent art museums is located in the city of Canterbury in the Tudor Revival Beaney Institute building that was built at the end of the 19th century. Its collection is housed at the top of a long contemporary staircase and consists of works by the local artists among other also Thomas Sidney Cooper as well as many notable European artists from 16th century onwards including Van Dyck. Unfortunately, the art gallery is closed at the moment of writing due to renovation works. It is planned to be reopened by Spring of 2012, while the finest works from its collection are meanwhile displayed at the Canterbury Heritage Museum that is located in the Poor Priests’ Hospital in the Stour Street. The latter can be visited every day from 10 am to 7 pm, except for 25th and 26th December, and 1st January when it is closed.

Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery

Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery. This museum and art gallery is located in the centre of the town of Royal Tunbridge Wells. It does not have as extensive collection of fine arts as the Royal Museum and Art Gallery, however, it is a lovely museum with an exciting exhibition of costumes, interesting local historic artefacts, historical painted murals, various social history objects, coins and paper money, an impressive collection of natural history specimens, and an outstanding collection of toys, dolls, games, teddy bears and similar items that will pleasantly surprise your kids. The Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery can be visited from Monday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 5 pm, and from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturdays. Keep in mind that it is closed on Bank Holidays and Easter Sunday.

Maidstone Museum

Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery. Another must-see for art lovers has one of the most outstanding collections in south-east Kent including objects of national importance. Its collection consists of priceless ancient Egyptian and Anglo-Saxon artefacts, Japanese decorative arts and drafts of national importance, outstanding collection of fine wall and decorative arts and classic furniture, over 400,000 natural history specimens, and much more. You definitely will not regret visiting this museum. It is open from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, and Sundays from noon to 4 pm. However, it is not open on Sundays from November to March and on 25th and 26th December, and 1st January.

Herne Bay Museum

Herne Bay Museum and Gallery. A popular tourist attraction in Herne Bay houses a fine collection of local history, and archaeological and social history. The art collection consists of paintings of Thomas Sidney Cooper and his great-nephew William Sidney Cooper, local artists and works connected to Herne Bay. It can be visited daily from 10 am to 4 pm except for Christmas Day.