Keswick Museum is roaring into the 1920s with a new exhibition exploring the work of two local artists.

Betty’s Back!: The work of James and Betty Durden is centred around the return of star painting Betty by James Durden. The painting is the largest in the museum’s collection at six foot tall and has been away for conservation reasons.

Supported by funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Betty’s Back! will explore James’s life and works in the context of the 1920s, when the portrait was painted, and will also reveal artwork by Betty Durden Green for the first time. The museum will be displaying its complete James Durden collection, and the exhibition will feature loans from private collections. Two paintings on loan from the Durden family show local scenes of Millbeck, where James lived for many years.

James painted the iconic portraits of his daughter, Betty, during the 1920s and they capture the spirit of the Jazz Age. The exhibition will explore the paintings in the context of the time, and give visitors the full roaring 20s experience with Charleston dance lessons in the gallery, dressing up, and a range of 1920s-inspired craft activities. Budding artists can take part in Durden Doodle Days, and participants can learn how to make their own flapper dress at the 1920s Sewing Bee.

Main image: Betty by James Durden, c. 1926. © Keswick Museum and Art Gallery.

Keswick Museum is open every day from 10am to 4pm. Betty’s Back! opens on November 20, 2021 and runs until May 22, 2022. For more information, visit the website