What’s On

Join us for summer holiday art and craft workshops!

Every Tuesday in August we are running a craft session twice a day.
12pm and then repeated, 1pm2pm.

Each hour long session is £5 per participant and you will make an item that you can take home with you at the end. Sessions are aimed at 6
16 year olds,but adults are allowed to create as well!

You can do just one or any of the four!

Tuesdays in August:
Traditional craft bracelets,
Decorating a keepsake box,
Decorate your own tote bag,
Paint a canvas masterpiece

Booking is preferred so you can secure your place. If you turn up on the day we cannot guarantee you a spot. Payment taken on the day.

To book please call: 01462 474554 or email rebecca.barkus@north-herts.gov.uk

or ask at the Town Hall reception

Please arrive 10 mins before the start time. If you need to cancel please let us know so we can give your place to someone else.

Free Museum Talks

For more information and to book tickets click here to go to Eventbrite, have a look at the events on our Facebook page or ask at the Town Hall reception and we can book it for you.

Secrets of the Still Room: Potions from the Past

Aug 17, 2018 1:00 PM

Romosexuality: Sexuality in the ancient world

Aug 31, 2018 8:00 PM

MadDoctors and their Medicines: Centuries of Mental Health Care in Hitchin

Sep 7, 2018 7:30 PM

Purple Spectacles: The Art of William Ratcliffe

Sep 20, 2018 1:00 PM




Louis Wain – Curious Cats

The current exhibition is of paintings by the Victorian artist Louis Wain, borrowed from Bethlem Museum of the Mind in London.

Born in London in 1860, Louis Wain is best known for his psychedelic paintings of cats. He was a prolific artist, sometimes producing several hundred drawings a year. He illustrated around one hundred children’s books, and his work was regularly reproduced on postcards.

Wain’s life was not easy. Aged twenty when his father died, he was responsible for his mother and five unmarried sisters. Although his illustrations were popular, financially he was naïve, and exploited by publishers. Sadly his wife Emily died of breast cancer three years after their marriage. During her illness Wain sketched their kitten Peter to amuse her, and soon began to specialise in cat pictures. At first the cats were on all fours, but Wain soon began to paint them standing upright, in human clothes. Wain’s cats play musical instruments, drink tea, play cards, fish, smoke, and enjoy a night at the opera.

After his mother and then his eldest sister died, Wain became increasingly unstable. In 1924 he was certified ‘insane’ and admitted to a pauper ward of Springfield Mental Hospital in South London. After a public campaign he was transferred to Bethlem and finally to Napsbury, near St Albans, where he remained until his death in 1939. Throughout his life in hospital Wain continued to draw and paint. His work is evidence of how his skills as an artist remained intact despite his erratic mental health.

The exhibition is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10.30am – 4.30pm, until 29 September. Admission is free.