Whitby Museum Banner

Special events & exhibitions



Wedding Dress Exhibition

The exhibition at Whitby Museum, which opened at the beginning of the year and finishes in December, is a selection of the wedding dresses which have been donated to the museum since the formation of the Whitby Literary and Philosophical Society in 1823. Our wedding dresses date as far back as 1805 and reflect the changing styles through the years.

We have stunning dresses dating from the 1860s to the middle of the 20th century reflecting fashion trends of each era. There are hats, shoes, veils and other accessories which give a glimpse of the fantastic items we have in the collection. Many of the dresses were from weddings in the Whitby area and are displayed with photographs, where available, to complete the picture. Several local families are represented in the exhibition and in the photograph album.

A faded mauve wedding dress is on display which would have been worn by someone in semi or half mourning unlike our black wedding dress worn by a Mrs Gardener whose father died just before her marriage.

In the 18th century white was one of many colours worn for marriage as dresses were intended to be used again and not just for a single occasion. Hence, we have wedding dresses in several different colours in the exhibition.

Queen Victoria's decision to wear white when she married Prince Albert in 1840 started a fashion that has now become the traditional choice in many parts of the world. Likewise, dresses and headwear trimmed with orange blossom, which was a symbol of fertility, became popular. A dress in the exhibition dated 1870 is a fine example of this along with several bridal wreaths on display.

We hope to display our extensive shoe collection next year so if anyone has any footwear of interest please contact the volunteers in the costume gallery at the museum.





Pannett Art Gallery Exhibitions 2016

The Pannett Art Gallery is run by Whitby Town Council (not the Whitby Literary & Philosophical Society). However because of its proximity to the Museum and interest to Museum visitors the exhibition programme for 2016 is given below. Admission is free. Information courtesy of Ms. Helen Berry, Curator.

Please note, all information is correct at the time of writing but may be subject to change. Please phone before making a special journey to visit any exhibition. TEL (01947) 600933/FAX (01947) 820227 or E MAIL: pannettgallery@hotmail.co.uk

Whitby Art Society Saturday 19th March - Monday 2nd May
Caedmon College, Whitby Student Exhibition Saturday 7th May - Sunday 15th May
Derek Slater & Andrew Cheetham Thursday 19th May - Tuesday 28th June
Staithes Group of Artists Saturday 2nd July - Sunday 17th July
SEAT Wednesday 20th July - Monday 29th August
Fylingdales Group of Artists Wednesday 31st August - Wednesday 12th October
Whitby Art Society Air Ambulance Exhibition Saturday 15th October - Sunday 27th November



Do you have a chair with a story to tell? An ordinary seat, made extraordinary because of its meaning to you? Yorkshire artist Pippa Hale is looking for a diverse selection of chairs to contribute to her exhibition SEAT which will be on display at the Pannett Art Gallery, Whitby, from 20 July to 29 August 2016.

Unusually for a gallery the Pannett Art Gallery not only hosts temporary exhibitions, but also Whitby Town Council meetings when the space is regularly transformed into a meeting room with public seating. This dual function truly reflects the interests and commitments of its founder Robert Elliott Pannett who was a keen art collector, Councillor and later Alderman of Whitby. It was he who gifted the park and made provision for an art gallery on the occasion of his death in 1920.

SEAT is an installation that reflects the dual purpose of this beautiful gallery space and its role in the history and governance of Whitby.

The exhibition will use chairs loaned by residents of Whitby and area to tell the story of the town and its inhabitants. It will recreate a Whitby Town Council Meeting, complete with public gallery, using local residents' chairs. However, for this artwork all the seats are loaned by Whitby residents, whose portraits and stories will be displayed in frames around the walls of the main gallery. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to match the chairs to their owners and learn more about the stories that make the chairs so special and unique. Seat takes place at the Pannett Art Gallery, Whitby from Monday 20 July to Monday 29 August 2016. To take part please contact the gallery by email: gallery or call into the gallery for an information pack. SEAT is part of the Meeting Point project by Arts & Heritage, which sees nine new contemporary art installations at four museums in the North East and five museums in Yorkshire during 2016.