What to see
A quick guide to the galleries at the Harris to help you plan your visit.
If you are planning to make a special journey to see a specific object or painting, please call us beforehand on 01772 258248 to check whether it is currently on display.
Don’t miss Foucault’s Pendulum and the stunning copy of the Baptistry doors usually seen in Florence, in the main atrium. While you’re taking a look, why not try one of our Fairtrade coffees or have a panini in the café.
The main library entrance and accessible toilet is also on the ground floor. The museum shop has gifts for all ages (and budgets!) plus art postcards and books.
On your way up to the first floor, check out the latest exhibition located on both staircases. This space showcases North West artists, many at the start of their career.
Discover Preston Gallery
Uncover the stories and people that make Preston special plus old favourites and new items from our history and archaeology collections.
Get closer to history in the Discover Room, with items rarely seen from the Harris collection such as Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Greeks, our money collection and toys.
Don’t miss the Poulton Elk – this 13,500 year old Elk displays evidence of the earliest settlers in the Preston area.
Our heritage reading room is also on the first floor, a space where you can use the computers, study or research your heritage.
Ceramics & Glass
Explore a wide range of ceramics, decorative glass and Preston Guild commemorative items. From Staffordshire figures to studio pottery, our ceramics collection spans over 300 years of working with clay.
Don’t miss Mrs French’s Scent Bottle Collection of over 2,700 bottles and Preston Guild commemorative items.
The ladies toilet can be found in the Ceramics & Glass gallery, along with the entrance to the library’s Community Heritage Library.
Our Latest Exhibitions
From cutting-edge contemporary art to the best of the Harris collection, here you’ll find work from established British and internationally-renowned artists as well as the next generation of talent.
Our Fine Art gallery is also based on the second floor. Discover an impressive collection of paintings, drawings, photographs and sculpture from the 1700s to the present day featuring well-known artists as well as works with a local connection.
Inside our Fine art gallery there is also a Wellbeing gallery, a place where you can take a breather, relax, draw, and be at peace,
Fashion and Textiles
Check out fashion and costume from the last two hundred years plus all types of textiles from the extensive Harris collection.
We change the displays each year, so come in and see what’s new.
Look up to the top of the Harris!
If you have a head for heights, the view through the atrium is a sight to behold! The balcony features murals painted by John Somerscales between 1909 and 1913.
The Egyptian Balcony is only accessible as part of a guided tour – see the events page for details of the next tour.
Learning at the Harris
A trip to the Harris is a great way to fire young imaginations. Explore our collections to create fantastic sculptures, be amazed by genuine artefacts that bring history to life and live through your own Greek myth.Plan your visit