The Higgins Bedford gearing up to host two new exhibitions

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Opening on the 6th May in the Connections Gallery Blue Sky Thinking celebrates the centenary of airships being built in Bedfordshire.

Back in 1917 the Short brothers started building R.31, the first of their airships, at the Cardington Sheds.

At the same time the Brothers set about building homes for workers in the village that still heralds their name today, ‘Shortstown’.

Discover the story of three remarkable brothers - Oswald, Eustace and Horace, and their vision for a British airship industry.

Visitors are invited to come and understand more about the Zeppelin airship raids of World War One and the impact of early airships on Bedfordshire and the wider world.

Launching at the same in the Wixamtree Gallery, Romance and Rebellion: the Art of the Victorians, draws upon the internationally acclaimed Cecil Higgins Art Gallery Collection 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.

It features artists including J.M.W. Turner, Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, James McNeill Whistler, Richard Dadd and Frederic Lord Leighton.

There is free entry to both exhibitions which will run until 17th September.