About us

Art and collections

Learn more about Glyndebourne's visual art exhibitions

The visual arts have been an integral part of the Glyndebourne experience since the festival’s inception.

Glyndebourne curates an ambitious year-round exhibitions programme of contemporary art that draws together art and music, alongside displays of unique archival material from the collection.


The publication of the first Festival Programme in 1952 encouraged the first collaborations with visual artists. Inspired by  the season-long programme book of the Aix-en-Provence Festival, industrialist Miki Sekers suggested to opera manager, Moran Caplat, that something along similar lines would be ideal for Glyndebourne. Cover designs were initially created by in-house designers, from Oliver Messel and Osbert Lancaster to Hugh Casson, and often illustrated the stage sets or characters from the productions that year. More recently, eminent artists including Howard Hodgkin, Eileen Cooper, Anish Kapoor, David Hockney, Grayson Perry, Fiona Rae and Chris Ofili have created designs for these collectable covers. Concurrently, Glyndebourne began an onsite exhibitions programme that presents artists commissioned for the Festival Programme, supporting established and emerging artists within Britain.

As well as artists, Glyndebourne has also worked in association with galleries and curators, including a two year partnership between 2015-2017 with world-renowned contemporary art gallery, White Cube. During this time, London-based architectural studio Carmody Groarke created a temporary structure on site that housed temporary exhibitions of works by Georg Baselitz (2015), Raqib Shaw (2016) and Rachel Kneebone (2017).

David Hockney with John Cox (director of The Rake’s Progress)

Art Gallery and Archive Gallery

Our Art Gallery and Archive Gallery  are Glyndebourne’s purpose-built exhibition spaces. Both spaces present an annual programme of curated contemporary exhibitions and displays that are open during the Festival season. The Art Gallery exhibits the work of British artists, from celebrated figures such as Mary Fedden OBE and Ken Howard OBE RA to works by local Sussex-based painters and printmakers. As our programme grows and develops, it continues to commission work on a yearly basis that reflects on Glyndebourne’s history and culture.

All works are available for sale either through our online shop or by contacting artandcollections@glyndebourne.com.

Outdoor sculpture

The gardens and walkways of the theatre building have always been home to sculpture and numerous leading sculptors have had works exhibited on-site, including Peter Randall-Page, Tony Cragg, Barry Flanagan, Anthony Gormley, Lucy Unwin, Nick Hornby and Nicholas Hare.

Alongside temporary installations, the grounds also feature a number of permanent sculptures. The horse head sculpture near the box office is by Nic Fiddian-Green. The diver by the lake is by Carol Peace and has the title ‘Possibly’. Finally, ‘Draped Reclining Woman’ by the pioneering 20th-century sculptor Henry Moore, has been on long-term loan from the Tate since 1994 and can be seen in the Figaro Garden.

Image: Halima Cassell sculptures in the gardens during Festival 2021, photo by Ben McKee

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