Ruskin Collection exhibitions

As well as the permanent gallery in Sheffield showing a changing selection from the collection, items are often lent to exhibitions nationally and overseas. 2019 is exceptional in seeing many exhibitions celebrating Ruskin's bicentenary.


2019 sees the Bicentenary exhibition at Two Temple Place, JOHN RUSKIN – THE POWER OF SEEING from 26 January – 22 April 2019.

This is the first time Ruskin’s remarkable collection has been shown en masse outside Sheffield, featuring examples of his own work alongside paintings, drawings and photographs by Ruskin’s contemporaries including J.M.W. Turner, George Frederic Watts and John Wharlton Bunney.

The exhibition showcases significant objects from The Ruskin Collection including Ruskin’s St George and the Dragon, after Carpaccio (1872), and the ‘De Croy’ Book of Hours, an exquisitely illustrated religious manuscript dating from the 15th century. Bunney’s striking 231cm x 152cm oil painting Western Façade of St Mark's Basilica, Venice (1876-82) will demonstrate Ruskin’s fascination with the architecture of Venice, while his deep passion for the natural world will be represented by carefully-observed studies of botany, geology, ornithology and landscape including John James Audubon’s White Pelican (1836) and an array of dazzling minerals and geological specimens. The exhibition will also feature examples of hand-crafted furniture from the original St George’s Museum.

In May, a similar exhibition JOHN RUSKIN: ART & WONDER opens at the Millennium Galleries in Sheffield, from 29 May – 15 September 2019.

The second exhibition curated by Museums Sheffield as part of 2019’s bicentenary celebrations is rooted in Ruskin’s fascination with the marvels of the natural world. Taking key themes from The Power of Seeing exhibition London’s Two Temple Place at as its starting point, Art & Wonder will go on to explore how Ruskin championed the joy that nature can bring to our lives and the sense of awe it can evoke within us. Visitors to Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery will discover a breath-taking selection of botanical and ornithological studies alongside an array of jewel-like geological specimens drawn from the Guild of St George's remarkable collection.

Between 2009 and 2016, the Ruskin Collection was at the heart of three exhibitions in the Millennium Galleries presented by the Guild and Museums Sheffield .

In 2018, we lent a substantial group of works to the first monographic exhibition on Ruskin to be mounted in Venice, ‘John Ruskin: Le Pietre di Venezia’ at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, Italy. Read a review here

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Western Façade of St Mark's Basilica, Venice (1876-82) by John Wharlton Bunney. Collection of the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield

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The Matterhorn from the moat of the Rifflehorn, 1849, John Ruskin. Collection of the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield

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Study from ‘Edward Donovan’s Watercolours of Invertebrate Species’. Edward Donovan Watercolour, bodycolour and varnish on paper, about 1790-1800 Collection of the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield