Canterbury Cathedral is a top international attraction but the district's museums are hidden gems not to be missed. The Beaney, at the heart of the city and with fascinating displays, reopens in 2012. Paintings can be viewed meanwhile at Canterbury Heritage Museum, and there are coastal images at Herne Bay and Whitstable museums. Collections date back to 1825 when the Museum of the Philosophical and Literary Institution opened in Canterbury. One of the earliest purchases, through public subscription, was Thomas Sidney Cooper's 'View of Canterbury from Tonford', a highlight of the nationally important group of works in Canterbury by this locally-born Victorian painter. Pictures acquired through gift, bequest and grant-aid include English and continental works from G. F. de Zoete; images of Canterbury Cathedral, the murder of Thomas Becket and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales; and portraits of local people. Among popular favourites are 'Two Children with a Dog' by Cornelis Janssens van Ceulen, Harriet Halhed's 'The Little Girl at the Door', Laura Knight's hop-pickers and Ian Hunter's 'Gutter Apples'.
20 October 2019
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