Brighton, UK has the world’s largest collection of fine arts. This unique, artistic and cosmopolitan city is well reserved with the worlds largest art collections.
The most famous cultural event is probably the annual Brighton Festival. It is held in May and is the largest arts festival in England, rivaled only by the Edinburgh Festival for the whole of the UK. Events take place over several weeks, with processions including the famous Children’s’ Parade, as well as displays and performances involving art, theatre, music and literature. The festival began with the concept of Artists’ Open Houses which continues today, where artists literally use their own homes as personal galleries, often with original work for sale. The Brighton Fringe Festival runs alongside, but independently of the Brighton Festival, and is the second largest in the world. This is made up of mainly street performances and outdoor events. The festivals are renowned and the vibe always reflects through the streets, bars and hotels in Brighton.
The thriving arts community has a presence all year round, and the Brighton Artists’ Quarter on Brighton Beach is popular with visitors and collectors alike. Artists use spaces such as Victorian fishermen’s’ workshops as quirky galleries to showcase and sell all kinds of original, quality artwork.
The Brighton Museum and Art Gallery is one of the city’s most famous museums. The building is part of the estate of the Royal Pavilion, and was originally built as a tennis court. The museum holds a group of celebrated collections, including the Decorative Art Collection which dates from the 17th century; The Natural Sciences Collection, with half a million insects including butterflies and a natural history library. The Fine Art Collection is an extensive mix of paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture, which date from the 15th century. The Costume and Textile Collections date from the 18th century and the Toy Collection consists of over 20,000 wonderful items dating from the 18th century.
Also very popular with visitors is the Brighton Dome, linked to the Royal Pavilion via an underpass. It is made up of three areas:- the Concert Hall, which has earned its own place in history as the venue where ABBA famously won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, as well as the place where Pink Floyd gave the first performance of Dark side of the moon. The Corn Exchange was once used as a museum but is now an entertainment venue with a beautifully refurbished interior. Finally, the Pavilion Theatre is an immensely popular live music venue.
The Royal Pavilion itself is one of Brighton’s most iconic landmarks and most popular visitor attractions. It is open to the public as a museum of British Regency. The Pavilion was the Brighton home of George, the Prince Regent, during the 19th century. He was famed for his hedonistic and excessive lifestyle, and the Pavilion became a haven for him and his long-term companion, Mrs Fitzherbert. Today, the building is called the Taj Mahal of Brighton, and is famous for its fabulous oriental architecture. Visitors can see the stunning royal bedrooms and reception rooms, and the music room.