Downing maintains strong links to artistic communities across Cambridge, the UK and the rest of the world. Students can enjoy access to inspiring and provocative works of art on their doorstep.
The Heong Gallery
The art scene at Downing College received a welcome boost with the opening of The Heong Gallery of modern and contemporary art in Spring 2016.
The art gallery is part of a larger construction project at Downing College which contains 78 student rooms and eight common rooms. The project has created a new court, called First Court, at the entrance to the College and the Edwardian stables (built in 1902-1903) have converted into the art gallery that is now open to the public.
The Gallery has been named by Alwyn Heong, an alumnus of Downing College, who is a passionate supporter of the visual arts and a collector. It was opened by Sir Alan Bowness at a ceremony on 5 February 2016.
For the first two years, the exhibitions programme draws out Downing's connections to the art world through its alumni.
Generation Painting 1955-65: British Art from the Collection of Alan Bowness 6 February - 22 May 2016
AI WEIWEI: Cubes and Trees 17 June - 9 October 2016
Portraits of Place: Works from Kettle's Yard & Richard Long 5 November 2016 - 15 January 2017
The Best of All Possible Worlds: Quentin Blake and the Folio Society 17 June - 8 October 2017
Dame Elisabeth Frink: Larger Than Life 4 November 2017 to 6 February 2018
The Mr and Mrs Geoffrey Twining Egginton Prize
The Mr and Mrs Geoffrey Twining Egginton Prize of £300 (winning entry) and two prizes of £100 (second and third placed entries) is awarded each year to any current undergraduate or graduate member of Downing College who have excelled in Fine Arts. See the awards, prizes and scholarships page for more information.
Art in Cambridge
Cambridge boasts an extensive artistic pedigree, and newcomers to the city are encouraged to visit the Fitzwilliam Museum. Founded in 1816, the museum is itself a work of art, with a collection of over half a million incredible artworks created as far back as 2,500 BC. Due to re-open in 2017 after an extensive building project, Kettle's Yard house and art gallery is the former home of Jim and Helen Ede, with an inspiring collection described as a 'fusion of art and found objects'.
For contemporary art enthusiasts, the New Hall Art Collection is a unique Cambridge landmark in that it hosts an extensive, permanent collection of work exclusively by female artists. In this, it is the largest collection of its kind in Europe.