Founded in 1879, York Art Gallery is home to a nationally designated collection that spans 600 years of history.
The gallery was created to provide a home for the Yorkshire Fine Art and Industrial Exhibition. When the exhibition closed, it was decided the space should become a permanent venue for the display of art.
In 2013 the Grade II listed Victorian building was closed so as an extensive £8m refurbishment project could take place. On its reopening two years later the transformed site boasted 60 per cent more exhibition space, a dedicated ceramic centre and an artists' garden and edible wood.
Among the interesting spaces within the gallery are The Lumber Room, a project by artist Mark Hearld which brings together his works with the items from the York collection that inspired their creation. Anthony Shaw's collection of ceramics meanwhile is displayed in a setting that was designed to mirror his own domestic interiors, featuring items of his furniture, books and paintings. Shaw also leads free talks about the works and allows visitors to handle some of them.
York Art Gallery was a finalist for Museum of the Year in 2016.
In 2017 the gallery ran a successful Art Happens to bring Doug Fishbone's cutting edge Leisure Land Golf art installation to their Artist Gardens. Fully playable, the course comprised of seven holes by artists John Akomfrah, Doug Fishbone, Ellie Harrison, Yinka Shonibare, Hetain Petel, Reactor and Eyal and Ines Weizman.
York Art Gallery is home to an expansive collection of 1,118 easel paintings that provides a detailed insight into Western European practice. Of its 14,000 works on paper there are topographical views of York, old master prints, children's illustrations and political cartoons. It also holds a small assortment of sculpture. Featured artists include LS Lowry, Sarah Lucas, David Hockney, Stanley Spencer, Paul Nash and the city's own William Etty.
When York Art Gallery reopened in 2015, one of its exciting new features was the Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA). Designed to provide a comprehensive history of British studio ceramics, the 5,500-piece collection it holds is the largest in the UK. At the heart of the space is an installation of 10,000 bowls by the artist Clare Twomey, which she made in collaboration with local communities in York. Each of the bowls took the volunteers an hour to make and represents one of the 10,000 hours it is said to take to become a master craftsman.