Sussex occupies a unique position in the recent history of British thought, art, design and literature. It has helped shape our modern world.
Writers, artists and designers of the 20th Century found Sussex to be not only a place of inspiration and retreat but also a place from which to launch a rebellion against tradition. Radical ideas, challenging creative output and alternative lifestyles all form part of the Sussex Modern legacy, which today finds new expression in contemporary culture throughout the county.
London to Chichester: 1 hour 30 minutes
West Dean College, formerly home to Surrealist patron and poet Edward James, is now internationally recognised for creative arts and conservation education, offering 700 short courses as well as Foundation, Diploma and Masters degrees awarded by the University of Sussex.
2017 highlights: West Dean Art and Crafts Festival
London to Chichester: 1 hour 40 minutes
Pallant House Gallery houses one of the UK’s most significant collections of Modern British art in a unique setting that combines a Queen Anne townhouse and award-winning contemporary extension. Its acclaimed exhibition programme is known for reassessing key figures from Modern British, international, contemporary and Outsider art.
2017 highlights: Transferences: Sidney Nolan in Britain, Victor Pasmore: Towards a New Reality, John Minton
Near Hassocks BN6 8SP
London to Hassocks: 45 minutes
RIBA award winning buildings housing a collection of carving, wood engraving, type design, weaving and letterpress by an internationally important community of artists and craftspeople who lived in the village including Eric Gill, Edward Johnston and David Jones.
2017 highlights: The Book Beautiful: William Morris, Hilary Pepler & The Private Press Story, Eric Gill: The Body, Cathie Pilkington RA www.ditchlingmuseumartcraft.org.uk
Brighton BN1 1EE
London to Brighton: 55 minutes
Brighton Museum & Art Gallery is a beautiful and vibrant place in the heart of the city with outstanding and wide-ranging collections including furniture and decorative arts by Dalí and Edward James, fashion by Schiaparelli, ceramics by Grayson Perry and Picasso, and paintings by Paul Nash and Edward Wadsworth.
2017 highlights: Constable and Brighton, Glyn Philpot, Gluck: Art & Identity www.brightonmuseums.org.uk
Near Chiddingly BN8 6HW
London to Lewes: 1 hour
Tucked away in the Sussex countryside Farleys House & Gallery was home to Lee Miller and Roland Penrose. It conjures up an extraordinary atmosphere that testifies to its position as a meeting place for some of the key personalities in twentieth century art.
2017 highlights: Lee Miller Studios Inc. 1932-1934 New York www.farleyshouseandgallery.co.uk
Near Lewes BN8 6LL
London to Lewes: 1 hour
Charleston was the home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, Bloomsbury artists and pioneers of early 20th-century British art. Here they created a hub of artistic and intellectual activity, in the unique and inspiring setting of House and Garden.
2017 highlights: Charleston Festival, Festival of the Garden, A Gay Outing, Small Wonder Festival
Eastbourne BN21 4JJ
London to Eastbourne: 1 hour 25 minutes
Founded as an art gallery for the people, Eastbourne’s Towner Art Gallery presents world class exhibitions of modern and contemporary art alongside works from our acclaimed Collection, including the most significant body of work by Eric Ravilious.
2017 highlights: A Certain Kind of Light, Becky Beasley: Ous, Ravilious & Co www.townereastbourne.org.uk
Hastings TN34 3DW
London to Hastings: 1 hour 35 minutes
Situated next to the historic fishing beach in Hastings’ picturesque Old Town, the award winning Jerwood Gallery is home to a diverse exhibition programme and the Jerwood Collection of Modern and Contemporary British art including works by Edward Burra, John Piper and many others.
2017 highlights: Keith Tyson: Turn Back Now, In Focus: Eileen Agar – Bride of the Sea, Quentin Blake: The Only Way to Travel
Bexhill on Sea TN40 1DP
London to Bexhill: 1 hour 45 minutes
The De La Warr Pavilion is a pioneering centre for the arts in a Grade 1 listed Modernist building by the sea. Designed by Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff in 1935, it presents a festival-style programme of exhibitions by contemporary and 20th century artists, music, comedy, live broadcast and family events, a learning programme for all ages and free outdoor events. Bexhill Museum, home of the original De La Warr Pavilion model, is just two minutes walk away.
2017 highlights: George Shaw: My Back to Nature, Simon Patterson, Roy Voss