New exhibition opens at The Higgins Bedford: Under the Same Sky


October 3, 2020 – April 11, 2021

Wixamtree and Connections Gallery, Free Entry

Under the Same Sky, a new art and social history exhibition that explores artists depictions of the sky above and the local impact of the weather over time, opens at The Higgins Bedford on Saturday, October 3, 2020.

Artists have always found inspiration in the unpredictable nature of the weather.

Through this exhibition, drawn from the internationally renowned Cecil Higgins Art Gallery collection, discover storms, calm skies, rain drenched cities, sun worship and visions of the moon in the works of artists such as JMW Turner, Alfred Sisley, Paul Nash and Edouard Manet.

Covering over 200 years of art, Under the Same Sky explores how the weather has been harnessed as a thematic device to intensify emotions, forecast tragedy, depict the changing seasons and capture the beauty of idyllic landscapes.

In addition, uncover stories of local pioneers in the development of weather forecasting over the centuries. Highlights include the founders of the National Royal Meteorological Society and the weather forecasters for the airships at Cardington.

Explore the history of extreme weather in Bedfordshire and its effects on changing river levels and habitats for wildlife, from the floods caused by the deep melting snow in 1947 to the Easter floods of 1998.

Visitors will also be able to view a film, Into the Woods, with images and music produced by Invisible Folk Club and funded by Arts Council England to compliment the artworks and stories being shared.

Cllr Doug McMurdo, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture said “This is the first new exhibition to open since The Higgins Bedford reopened following its closure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There are lots of measures in place to keep visitors safe while enjoying this new fascinating exhibition, bringing a new perspective on something that we all experience every day – the weather, as well as all the other remarkable displays in our local museum and art gallery.”

This art and social history exhibition combines paintings and prints by major artists, film, photographs, objects, and local stories culminating in a reflection of our fascination with the weather and its effects on the world around us.

The Higgins Bedford has been working in collaboration with The Meteorological Research Unit at Cardington, Bedfordshire Archives, the Airship Heritage Trust and members of the public to present this exhibition.

A safe and enjoyable visit

The Higgins Bedford has introduced a number of measures in line with Government and public heath guidance, to ensure that visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Visitors must book a free time entry ticket in advance by visiting

Visitors who are unable to book online can book over the telephone on 01234 718044 Monday – Friday from 11.00am to 3.00pm

Limiting visitor numbers will allow everyone to maintain a two metre social distance from others not from the same household.

There is a one way system in operation with separate entrance and exit routes, and hand washing and sanitising facilities are available throughout the building. All visitors must wear a face covering, except for those who are exempt.

Customer toilet facilities are open with clear queuing systems in place, and cleaning has been increased.

Interactive displays have been removed as well as shared information folders about the displays, but visitors can access these on mobile devices by scanning new QR codes.

Staff and volunteers are on hand to help visitors have a safe and enjoyable time, while measures such as screens are in place to help ensure everyone’s safety.

In addition, The Higgins Bedford will be collecting contact details for visitors to support NHS Test and Trace in the prevention of further local COVID-19 outbreaks.

QR code posters are in place and can be scanned with the new NHS COVID-19 app to quickly check into the venue.

Find out more about the app at