Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library

People stabding outdoors looking closely at prints

The Harris is Preston’s principal cultural venue, founded in 1893, it holds a varied collection which includes fine arts, costume and textiles, local history, and archaeology, as well as an important but little known collection of drawings. The museum has developed a strong reputation for innovative community projects and is deeply committed to developing community programming and engagement ideas that are led by communities, and facilitated and informed by the Harris staff and collections.

Courtaulds Ltd operated in Preston between 1939-79, employing over 4,000 people at its Red Scar plant on the with outskirts of the city. It was one of the largest employers in Preston’s history, and contributed substantially to the development of the mixed multi-ethnic community which is so characteristic of the city today.

In 2018, Deauville: Preston’s Courtauld Connection was displayed at the Harris from 10 Feb – 20 May, the exhibition was developed in conjunction with the community of former Courtaulds Ltd employees and those that work at the former site. Our partnership continued in 2020 with The Artful Line, an exhibition exploring the importance of drawing through the collections of the Harris, the Courtauld and new work but local artists.

Work with local communities to understand the legacy of Courtaulds Ltd in the area will continue over the coming year with opportunities for local volunteers and schools to get involved in this exciting project.

Take a closer look


Watch the inauguration of the mural “The links in the chain are of equal strength” by Preston artist Gavin Renshaw and illustrator Toya Walker with the help of students from two local schools.


Girl viewing painting with magnifying glassDeauville: Preston’s Courtauld Connection Exhibition

Find out more about the ‘people’s choice’ display of Boudin’s Deauville, and the fantastic community events that ran alongside it.


Courtauld Factory Reunion Events notice board with messages about Courtaulds

Find out more about engagement with communities around the Courtauld textile factory in Preston, including a photo shoot with our art works.


Visitors looking at the Artful Line exhibitionThe Artful Line Exhibition

Find out more about The Artful Line exhibition and explore the history and relevance of drawing from the 17th century to the present day.


Get Involved

You can find out more about the Harris and the project in Preston by visiting their website or getting in touch:
W: http://www.harrismuseum.org.uk/
T: 01772 258248
E: harris.museum@preston.gov.uk