Explore Victorian art and the history of airships in Bedford

Edward Coley Burne-Joness Cupid Delivering Psyche, courtesy of the trustees of Cecil Higgins Art Gallery
Edward Coley Burne-Joness Cupid Delivering Psyche, courtesy of the trustees of Cecil Higgins Art Gallery

Victorian art and the history of airships are the subjects of two contrasting exhibitions now running at The Higgins in Bedford.

Blue Sky Thinking celebrates the centenary of airships being built in Bedfordshire. The Short brothers started building R.31, the first of their airships, at the Cardington Sheds in 1917.

At the same time the brothers set about building homes for workers in the village that still bears their name today –Shortstown. Visitors can discover the story of the three remarkable brothers and understand more about the airship raids of World War One and the impact of early airships on Bedfordshire.

Romance & Rebellion: the Art of the Victorians features artists including JMW Turner, Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti in a romp through Victorian art. No other period in art history has been so full of stylistic extremes from the Pre-Raphaelites to the Decadents and the Aesthetes to the Exquisites. The exhibition charts the period chronologically and reveals how these styles developed and flourished alongside one another.

There is free entry to both exhibitions, which will run until September 17. See thehigginsbedford.org.uk for more information.