Skip to main content

About the Herbert

The perfect place to delve into Coventry’s history and engage with art and culture.

You can expect... 

  • World-class exhibitions

  • Extraordinary events for all ages

  • Ever-changing displays

  • Unique experiences

Gain a fresh perspective on the legend of Lady Godiva, discover your ancestors’ history in the Coventry Archives, and explore Coventry's history from the 1500s onwards. All of this is just a stone’s throw away from Coventry Cathedral.

As well as the art gallery’s ever-changing displays which are often created in partnership with national museums, the Herbert offers a wide range of detailed talks, fantastic events and inventive workshops for adults and families. The Herbert Art Gallery encourages creativity, exploration and fun.

The Herbert is also home to Coventry Archives, the city’s destination for historical documents, photographs, maps and archival materials.

You can also book special tours of the Old Grammar School and Medieval Undercroft should you wish to explore Coventry’s rich history further.

Sir Alfred Herbert

The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum is named after Sir Alfred Herbert, a local industrialist who founded Alfred Herbert Limited, at one time the world's largest manufacturer of machine tools. 

In 1938, Sir Alfred donated £100,000 to the city of Coventry to pay for the construction of an art gallery and museum. The Second World War called a halt to building work, and it was not until 1954 that Sir Alfred was able to lay the foundation stone of the new building. Sadly he did not live to see the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum opened by Lady Herbert in 1960. He died on 5 June 1957 aged 90.

Along with taking his name, the museum displays a bust of Sir Alfred in the covered court outside of the History Gallery.