Harding House GallerySteep Hill, Lincoln
Housed in a timbered 16th Century building within the Cathedral Quarter, Harding House Gallery provides a unique and exciting place for artists to exhibit their work.
The Co-operative was set up in 1994 by a group of local artists who decided to establish a much needed outlet for the contemporary visual arts in Lincoln, and HHG is now one of the most successful artist’s co-operatives in the country.
We are a diverse group of artists or makers of contemporary craft, and between us we are entirely responsible for the staffing and daily functioning of the Gallery. Our members are also active in other areas such as teaching, running workshops, arts consultancy, exhibiting in and supplying galleries and stores around the country, and generally promoting the arts throughout the region.
We are open every day from 10am - 5pm, and 11am - 4pm on Sundays (Except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day).
The Lower Gallery showcases original work by Harding House members, plus a wide selection of contemporary work by approximately 40 other artists or makers from around the country. Our permanent exhibits feature ceramics, glass, watercolours, textiles, jewellery, metal sculpture, calligraphy, prints, abstract and landscape painting, plus a fine array of original greetings cards.
The spacious Upper Gallery hosts an ongoing vibrant Exhibition programme in all disciplines, both solo and group shows from near and far.
Harding House History...This lovely old building was constructed in the fifteenth century, most probably as a merchant’s house, for records show evidence of use in the weaving trade.
The lower floor is built of stone, while the upper floor is timber framed.
The house is named after Canon N. S. Harding, a vicar of All Saints Church in Lincoln – he purchased it in 1930 rescuing it from certain demolition, then bequeathed it to the City of Lincoln on his death in 1952. Harding House is a Grade II listed building and merits a mention in Nikolaus Pevsner’s Lincolnshire (The Buildings of England).
The house has undergone some unsympathetic building and alteration work over the years, with one floor level being removed, plus doors and windows installed with little prior thought to the original context of the structure – nevertheless, we are indeed hugely privileged and love occupying such a charming old house in a unique situation.
From 1984 to 1992 the building was leased to The Harding House Art’s Trust (no connection to the current Co-operative) with the specific remit of promoting the visual arts in Lincoln. There were artist’s studios and gallery space plus a cafe where the Arbour is now, but when the lease expired and funding difficulties arose in 1992 the City Council decided on a different approach. So in 1994, Lincoln City Council collaborated with English Heritage on a programme of modernisation (a loo, kitchen, and staircase to the Upper Gallery no less!) and refurbishment - the building was closed for several months, there were countless meetings between the artists involved and the East Midlands Development Agency, and Harding House Gallery Co-operative officially opened its doors on Saturday June 18th 1994. And the rest is history...