Joseph Wright Gallery

Visitor information

Feature List

  • Guided Tours
  • Talks and presentations
  • Family Activity Trail
  • Education program for children
  • Temporary exhibitions
  • Library and archive

The world's largest collection of work by Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-1797), in the city where he was born.

Joseph Wright studied under Thomas Hudson (1701-1779) in London before settling in his hometown of Derby in 1753. He stayed in Liverpool and Bath and traveled in Italy for productive periods, but always returned to Derby, where he died in 1797. Here, he was close to many key figures of his time, including Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795) (a key patron), and Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802). Wright became famed for his light effects, visible in candlelit subjects such as A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery (1766) and An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump (1768), but also for his portraiture and landscapes.

The Joseph Wright Gallery at Derby Museum and Art Gallery houses many of Wright's most celebrated oil paintings, alongside material relating to his studio and practice, available in the archives and study room. A dedicated exhibition space hosts a rotating display of his works on paper, and regular talks and tours throughout the gallery illuminate Wright's life, work, and his relationship with the city with which he is inextricably linked.

Joseph Wright of Derby's paint palette, on display at the Joseph Wright Gallery
Wright's paint palette
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Derby Museum and Art Gallery
The Strand
United Kingdom


01332 641901


Plan your visit
Opening times:

Tuesday Saturday, 10am - 5pm

Sunday, 12pm - 4pm

Closed on Mondays

Admission prices:

Free to all

Accurate as of September 2018

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