York Art Gallery

4 May – 2 September 2018

Since it was founded in 1948, the Friends of York Art Gallery (FOYAG) charity has pledged more than £600,000, which has aided the purchase of over 150 works for York Art Gallery’s collections including pieces by Albert Moore, David Hockney, Barbara Hepworth and Grayson Perry.

To celebrate their 70th year, members of the Friends have chosen some favourite works from the gallery’s collections which have been acquired or restored thanks to their financial support to go on show in this special exhibition.

Over the course of its duration, the exhibition will be supplemented by a series of talks about the artists, the subjects of their works and the benefit of this collection to the public.

Works in the exhibition include ‘A Face in the Audience’ by Albert Moore, ‘Flickering Grid II’ by Oliver Bevan, ‘The Trail of War’ by Carline Sydney and the first work the Friend’s helped to buy, ‘Samson and Delilah’ by Pieter Claesz Soutman.

Artworks above l-r: ‘Silver Dollar Bar’ by Edward Burra acquired in 1982, ‘General Norcliffe in His Study’ by Mary Ellen Best acquired in 1982, and ‘Blue Striped Table Cloth’ by Mary Fedden acquired in 1998.

The Friends of York Art Gallery

The Friends of York Art Gallery was founded in 1948, and its first contribution to an acquisition for the York Art Gallery collection was in 1949 when ‘Samson and Delilah’ (1642) by Pieter Soutman was purchased for £160.

In the following 69 years the Friends have contributed towards the acquisition of more than 150 works of art including paintings, drawings, photography, film, sculpture and ceramics, and the conservation or restoration of a wide variety of works in the Gallery collection.

The financial contribution from the Friends and being able to demonstrate local support for the Gallery’s appeals has proven to be crucial in attracting further financial support from sources such as Philanthropic Societies, the Art Fund or Heritage Lottery Fund.

Much of the Friends’ funding comes from bequests left by Friends and those in the community who want to help ensure the future of York Art Gallery. Additionally, significant sources of revenue include annual membership subscriptions and profits from the Gallery Dines Out luncheons, tours and some lectures, such as the annual CoCA lecture.

An annual grant is made to sponsor MA Scholars (History of Art) at the University of York. FOYAG also contribute to local primary school initiatives in partnership with York Art Gallery and York Civic trust. The competition for 2016-17, ‘An Alternative View of York’, involved 15 schools, 74 classes and almost 2,000 students.

The Friends continue to thrive and their visits to other galleries, artist’s studios and farther afield to major exhibitions are always popular. In the past year the Friends have visited Halifax, Leighton House (London), Liverpool, Normandy, Watts Gallery (Guildford), Ferens Gallery and the Hull University Gallery. The 2018 visits will include Munich in April and Sussex in June.

Click here to find out more about joining the Friends of York Art Gallery.