Special exhibition – Hardy’s Wessex at Dorset Museum
The largest collection of Thomas Hardy objects ever displayed at one time forms a major exhibition across four venues – Dorset Museum (Dorchester), Poole Museum, The Salisbury Museum and Wiltshire Museum (Devizes)
Take a fresh look at the Victorian novelist and poet, Thomas Hardy, in the stunning Wessex landscapes that shaped his view of the world. His story will be retold in exciting new ways by our museum collections, from period costumes to personal letters, art to archaeology.
Hardy’s Wessex at Dorset Museum 28 May – 30 October 2022
The exhibition at each venue will be different – in Dorset Museum, it explores Hardy’s views on social tensions and animal welfare. Famous as a novelist, poet and social commentator, Hardy never lost touch with his experience of the working-class lives and poverty of rural Dorset. Paintings, writing, costume and drawings will bring his writing and personality to life. The painting The Village Choir by Thomas Webster (loaned by the Victoria and Albert Museum), for example, provides a snapshot of the rural musicians Hardy grew up with and wrote about in his novels.
Hardy had family pets and designed and carved his dog, Wessex’s, tombstone himself. He was also deeply concerned about the welfare of animals and became friends with early animal rights activists. He wrote to the newspapers to protest against performing animals, wrote poems criticising blood sports, and published novels about the link between people and animals.
Dorset Museum is part of the NPO (National Partnership Organisation) with Wessex Museums. Wessex Museums is a charity that exists to build the resilience of partner museums and make them relevant to diverse audiences.
Book your tickets in advance HERE