We manage a range of exhibitions that span 6 to 12 months. They are hosted in Bankfield Museum's:

  • Fashion Gallery
  • Link Gallery
  • Main Hall.

We vary the content across:

  • different themes and periods
  • art
  • sculpture
  • photography
  • film
  • textiles
  • historical and modern objects.

We aim to display collection objects as much as possible so often lead exhibitions to showcase collections not on permanent display.

We also manage Smith Art Gallery, which has a temporary exhibition gallery for exhibitions of six months at a time.

Please see What's On - Exhibitions for our current programme. Examples of previous exhibitions can be found below.

We are always keen to work with new groups and artists and to forge new partnerships with other museums and organisations. Through our exhibitions, we want to:

  • attract more visitors and reach new ones;
  • promote local history, stories, collections and artists;
  • and if possible, generate income through shop sales and event tickets.

Email collections@calderdale.gov.uk for a copy of our Exhibition Proposal Form. Please print your proposal with images of examples of the work or previous exhibitions. Send these by post to:

Exhibitions Officer,
Bankfield Museum,
Boothtown Road, Halifax,
HX3 6HG.

If you would like your documents to be returned, please include a stamped addressed envelope. 

You can submit proposals for any of our three temporary exhibition galleries. We recommend that you visit our sites to select a suitable gallery before applying.

Individual artists are always welcome to submit work to our annual Calderdale Open Art Exhibition.

We assess exhibition proposals quarterly. We usually plan one year in advance.

Current selection Criteria

(Please consider these in your application)

1. Attracting audiences

  • Will the exhibition appeal to our current audiences and possibly attract new ones?
  • Is there are unique selling point of your exhibition which would help us to market it, and again, possibly attract new visitors?

2. Generating income

  • Will your exhibition help us to generate income? The exhibitions we host are never charged for, but we do need to raise funds to continue our museum work. This can be through sales of works (we charge 33% commission on all sales), linked books, prints, and merchandise etc..
  • Can you offer any ticketed workshops and talks?

3. Local and Regional links

  • Ideally, the exhibition needs a reason to be hosted in Calderdale- are there strong local links- either the exhibition’s creators or the subject matter, particularly exhibitions that link to the museum’s or gallery’s collections that we can display alongside your work?
  • We are particularly interested in projects that engage different areas of the community or promote collaborations and cross promotion between other organisations, museums and galleries in the region.

4. New ideas

  • We want to be able to host exhibitions from new artists and groups who many not have exhibited here before to attract new audiences and vary our exhibitions.
  • We are also interested in open to new interactive or digital installations and ideas.

Previous Exhibitions

King and country exhibition

For King and Country 2014 - 2018

The exhibition featured over 200 objects, 200 images and archives and 60 local stories to explore local experiences during the First World War. From soldiers, sailors and nurses to those at home working in munitions, hospitals and fundraising. The exhibition was awarded the Royal Historical Society's prize for public history in 2015


Splendid Shreds of Silk and Satin: A celebration of Charlotte Bronte in Quilts

In partnership with the Bronte Parsonage Museum and novelist Tracy Chevalier. An exhibition in the Temporary Exhibition Gallery at Bankfield featuring a quilt made by Charlotte and her sisters on loan from Haworth and a selection of historic quilts from Bankfield Museum’s collection, alongside entries for the Brontë Quilt Challenge sponsored by the Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles and the Brontë Society.


Kate Lycett: Lost Houses of the South Pennines

Local artist Kate Lycett's successful exhibition featured new artworks exploring Lost Houses of the region. Drawing upon plans, photographs and written accounts, as well as the sites themselves, Kate recreated some of the lost houses of the South Pennines, including Castle Carr, New Cragg Hall and High Sunderland. Many of the paintings were sold along with a number of limited edition prints and cards, as well as an exhibition guidebook.


Bonnets, Beanies and Beyond

Vendredi Millinery group have worked with Bankfield Museum to create two exhibitions to date, both inspired by the Museum's collections. This second exhibition of their work explored time travel through hats, as part of the Time Keepers exhibition. The group created hats inspired by the past, present and future and also created displays with information on the history of hats, their manufacture and futuristic visions.


19th Century Dressmaking

Local fashion and costume lecturer Phionna Fitzgerald researched several dresses in the Museum's collections and recreated them for display. She also worked with students to recreate dresses to learn dress making techniques. The exhibition featured original dresses, accessories and fashion images from the museum’s collections and Phionna and her students' modern reconstructions.


Waterloo 200

To commemorate the bicentenary of Waterloo, The Duke of Wellington’s Regimental Museum at Bankfield Museum partnered with the National Army Museum on a temporary exhibition.

Wild West

Wild West

In 2017 our Wild West exhibition explored the myths and realities of the Wild West. Native American and Western artefacts were on display from Calderdale Museums, Leeds City Museums and various private collections, alongside souvenirs from the world famous 'Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show', which visited Halifax on the 8th October 1903.

January 2017 saw the 100th anniversary of Buffalo Bill's death. Born William F. Cody, the legendary 'Buffalo Bill' almost single-handedly created the image of the ‘Wild West’, which endures to this day-with cowboys and Indians, covered wagons and stagecoaches.


Pirates! with Chris Mould

A swashbuckling exhibition of pirates, treasure and adventure featuring original drawings from 'Pirates 'n' Pistols', the award winning children's book by local artist and writer Chris Mould. The family exhibition explored the history of pirates, both fact and fiction and books and limited edition prints of the Bankfield Pirate are still available to purchase from the Museum's shop. The success of this exhibition led us to collaborate with Chris the following year on the theme of Dragons, using Chris's original drawings and a wide selection of objects from the Museum's collections to explore the fascination of dragons.