The Bethlem Gallery and Museum are situated in the original administration building at the site which has been radically redesigned to contain a permanent exhibition space, a temporary exhibition space for the Bethlem Museum’s collection and a contemporary art exhibition space for artists who have experienced mental difficulties.
In the vastly increased exhibition spaces, you can now view centuries of significant historic artworks and objects together with inspiring contemporary works by current artists and service users. The building is open to the public and free of charge to visit.
A pioneering arts and museum space at the heart of Bethlem Royal Hospital
The Bethlem Museum has been on site for 40 years in one small building and the Bethlem Gallery has been on site for 17 years as part of the Occupational Therapy department, both organisations have gained an international reputation for excellence in the field of arts in health. For the first time they are under one roof, bringing together their specific areas of expertise to curate exhibitions informed and enlivened by the historical import of the collection and archives and new perspectives from artists and patients of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM).
The new building, supported by the Maudsley Charity, secures the unique collections for future generations and enables the public to see more of the incredible artwork both from the historic collection and from current artists involved with our services today. The old administration building’s grand art-deco staircase now provides a fitting showcase for the world-renowned statues of ‘Raving’ and ‘Melancholy’ Madness, which originally stood above the gates of 17th century ‘Bedlam’.
You can explore a selection of images of the new building in the Museum and Gallery image library. You can watch a film about the opening of the Bethlem Gallery and Museum here If you would like high-res versions for press use please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
In May 2016 Bethlem Museum was shortlisted for Museum of the Year Award. The Museum is one of five finalists competing for the prestigious Art Fund prize.
The Art Fund awards the Museum of the Year prize annually to one outstanding museum, which, in the opinion of the judges, has shown exceptional imagination, innovation and achievement. You can watch a short film about the nomination here.
Thanks to your donations, we’re able to support community art projects that benefit people going through mental illness and recovery. Please help us to keep these projects running.