York Art GalleryIan Jones, Food and Drink Editor
Housed in a grand Victorian exhibition building just off the University of York campus, an architectural gem, the Grade II listed York Art Gallery plays host to an art collection spanning over 600 years. Visitors wander through a glass-roofed space, held up by white-painted ornate beams that show off the works to perfection.
The building consists of seven magnificent, newly-designed galleries that showcase world-class collections of historic and contemporary art, spanning over 600 years of art and culture. Whether you prefer Old Masters or contemporary sculpture, there’s a gallery for you. The museum was the recipient of an £8m makeover in 2013 and has received rave reviews from journalists and the public when it reopened in 2015.
York Art Gallery consists of seven magnificent, newly-designed galleries that showcase world-class collections of historic and contemporary art
The paintings in the collection range from Italian gilt altarpieces to Dutch moralities, from 18th-century portraiture (including of course the famous portrait of Mrs Morison of Haddo) to paintings by the Camden Town group of the early 20th century. Then there’s the famous Automaton Clock, dating from the 1780s, with its mysterious moving figures and glass landscapes.
For those with a passion for ceramics, glassware and metalware, the Gallery’s Decorative Arts collection houses over 3,000 pieces, from China, Korea, Delft, and, of course, Yorkshire. The Works on Paper collection offers over 17,000 drawings and watercolours, including many by York’s famous artist William Etty. You’ll find some L.S. Lowry works in there too.
The paintings in the collection range from Italian gilt altarpieces to Dutch moralities
There’s also a highly-regarded onsite cafe where visitors can take a break for a coffee and a bite to eat, plus a shop to buy those special small gifts and cards to give to like-minded art-lovers.
Looking for more things to do in York? Our guide to the city will set you right.