Ferens Art Gallery

Polly Checkland Harding
Courtesy of Ferens Art Gallery

Opened in 1927, Ferens Art Gallery houses a superb collection, including masterpieces by Stanley Spencer, David Hockney, Helen Chadwick and Gillian Wearing. The nationally significant permanent collection includes sculpture alongside still life, landscape and portrait paintings that span from the medieval period to the present day – as well as playing host to a changing programme of temporary exhibitions.

The gallery is named after Thomas Robinson Ferens, who began contributing to the city of Hull’s art collection in 1905 by offering £5,000 in five annual instalments for purchasing works of art, and is built from Portland stone and grey-coloured marble. Called ‘Bianco del Mare’, the marble for the building was almost lost at sea when a fire broke out on the ship transporting it to Hull from Italy; further mishap followed when Ferens himself was unable to attend the opening after 18 months of construction, due to a broken ankle.

Fairer fortunes were ahead; the original building was extended in 1989, with the reopening in 1991 overseen by the Queen Mother. The twelve spaces inside now showcase the permanent collection that Ferens began, alongside temporary exhibitions. A rare Sienese masterpiece by Lorenzetti is the centrepiece of the Renaissance and Baroque works in Gallery 1 – dating from around 1320, it is the oldest object in the art gallery’s holdings and the only piece by the artist in a UK collection. Gallery 2 centres on The Netherlands, illustrating the importance of Hull’s trading and cultural links through works from the Dutch Golden Age in the 16th and 17th centuries. France and Italy are the focus of Gallery 3, with works by Francesco Guardi and Antonio Canaletto, while Galleries 4, 7 and 8 are dedicated to temporary exhibitions.

Gallery 6 demonstrates the influence of French artists – and particularly the French Impressionists – on early 20th-century British art, with works on show including Hotel Royal, Dieppe by Walter Sickert. These paintings, with their focus on the shifting tonalities of light and weather, sit alongside the bolder colours used by the Scottish Colourists. Gallery 9 moves into Modern and Contemporary art, with particular attention to portraiture from contrasting practitioners including David Hockney, Gillian Wearing, Euan Uglow and Francesca Woodman, while Gallery 12 takes a thematic approach, showcasing maritime artworks including examples from the 19th-century Hull School of Maritime Painting. Close to Paragon Arcade and the Maritime Museum, Ferens Art Gallery also offers a family and children’s gallery (ages 0-5), a café and gift shop – and is a must-visit for any trip to Hull.

And when you’re planning that trip, do check out our dedicated guide to the city, which showcases the best the city has to offer by way of heritage, culture and culinary delights.

Queen Victoria Square, Carr LaneHullHU1 3RA View map
Telephone: 01482300300 Visit Now

Opening Hours

  • Monday10:00am - 4:30pm
  • Tuesday10:00am - 4:30pm
  • Wednesday10:00am - 4:30pm
  • Thursday10:00am - 4:30pm
  • Friday10:00am - 4:30pm
  • Saturday10:00am - 4:30pm
  • Sunday11:00am - 4:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near Ferens Art Gallery

Where to go near Ferens Art Gallery

Hull Maritime Museum
Hull
Museum
Hull Maritime Museum

Housed in one of the city’s finest buildings, Hull Maritime Museum has been showcasing 800 years of maritime history since 1975 – including a 113-year-old 40ft whale skeleton and the largest collection of scrimshaw this side of the Atlantic.

Hull
Shopping Centre
Paragon Arcade

This beautiful Victorian shopping arcade is now home to a raft of innovative local retailers, each with their own specialism to offer Hull’s residents and visitors alike.

Hull
Place of worship
Hull Minster

The UK’s largest medieval ‘town church’, Hull Minster was awarded £3.9 million by Highways England in 2019 for restoration and the addition of a heritage centre.

Hull
Shopping Centre
Hepworth Arcade

Located in the Old Town, this beautiful Grade II-listed Victorian arcade is home to some of Hull’s best-loved and best-known retailers.

Ye Olde White Hart
Hull
Bar or Pub
Ye Olde White Harte

A pub with two well-stocked bars and a large beer garden, Ye Olde White Harte is an incredible historic gem, constructed in 1550, and Grade II*-listed.

Hull
Hotel
Hideout Apartment Hotel

Independent and run by a small family team, Hideout Apartment Hotel offers 15 contemporary and stylish self-contained self-catering apartments in the heart of Hull Old Town.

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Bankside Gallery Hull

Bankside Gallery Hull isn’t a single building, but a sprawling, outdoor exhibition space for Hull’s street artists

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Hull Trinity Backpackers

If you’re looking for affordable accommodation right in the heart of Hull Old Town, the highly rated, independent hostel Hull Trinity Backpackers is hard to beat.

Hull
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Kingston Theatre Hotel

Overlooking the quiet seclusion of Kingston Square Gardens, Kingston Theatre Hotel is a small family-run four-star Victorian hotel in the heart of Hull Old Town.

Hull New Theatre
Hull
Theatre
Hull New Theatre

The Grade II-listed Hull New Theatre reopened in 2017 after a £16 million refurbishment, creating more seats, a new café-restaurant, two new bars and an extra space.

The Old House
Hull
Bar or Pub
The Old House

The Old House is offering collection and delivery from its home in the oldest domestic building in Hull.

Hull
Restaurant
Hitchcock’s Vegetarian Restaurant

Strange, but highly rated, Hull’s very first vegetarian restaurant, Hitchcock’s, has been an unconventional spot for over 25 years, with a warren of rooms full of curios.

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