York Art Gallery

Welcome to York Art Gallery – explore a range of paintings spanning more than 600 years, from 14th century Italian panels and 17th century Dutch masterpieces to Victorian narrative paintings and 20th century works by LS Lowry and David Hockney.

The building which houses the gallery opened its doors to the public in 1879 for the second Yorkshire Fine Art and Industrial Exhibition, inspired by the Great Exhibition of London in 1851. In 1892 it became the City Art Gallery. After undergoing a major redevelopment project in 2015 the Art Gallery reopened with more display space, new gardens and a Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA).

What you can see on your visit

Temporary Exhibitions

Views of York and Yorkshire
Opens 20 August 2020
Featuring much-loved paintings alongside a selection of never before seen artworks, this brand new exhibition gives a unique glimpse into the beauty and history of York and the surrounding countryside. Highlights include artwork by L.S. Lowry, Letitia Marion Hamilton, John Piper, Ethel Walker, J.M.W. Turner and Joseph Alfred Terry.

Your Art Gallery: Paintings Chosen by You
Opens 20 August 2020
The paintings you love and missed the most while we’ve been closed will go on display in a new exhibition to celebrate the reopening of York Art Gallery. Chosen by you, some of your favourite paintings from the Gallery’s collection will feature in this exciting exhibition.

Our Heroes
Opens 1 August 2020
York artist Karen Winship pays tribute to the tireless and selfless work of NHS workers in this moving exhibition of portraits created during the COVID-19 pandemic. The stories of those working or volunteering in other essential services during the pandemic will also be told as the gallery invites the public to nominate their own heroes.

Future Greats: Aesthetica Art Prize 2020
Until October 2020
The Aesthetica Art Prize is a celebration of works that redefine the parameters of contemporary art. The annual prize, now in its 13th year, provides a platform for both established and emerging practitioners from across the world. The 2020 exhibition includes 18 artists that respond to today’s key issues, unpacking the layers of the digitalised, globalised world.

Gillian Lowndes: At the Edge
Until October 2020
Showcased in the Centre of Ceramic Arts (CoCA), see the ground-breaking works of Gillian Lowndes (1936-2010), the most radical ceramicist of the twentieth century.

Michael Lyons – Ancient and Modern
Until October 2020
Enjoy great art outdoors this summer as you explore our Artist Garden and works by internationally acclaimed artist Michael Lyons. ‘Ancient and Modern’ includes nine sculptures inspired by nature, myth and ancient cultures, all surrounded by 10 acres of beautiful York Museum Gardens. All of this is right in the heart of York City Centre and easily accessible.

Don’t forget to stroll through Edible Wood, a garden featuring plants that have an edible component and are both attractive and useful!

Permanent Collection

The Burton Gallery
See some of the finest pieces from our fine art collection, including Italian Old Master paintings, Dutch and Flemish Old Master paintings, works by early 20th century modern artists and abstract paintings. In addition to this, on display are some old favourites including Hogarth’s Studio by E. M. Ward, Clifford’s Tower by L. S. Lowry and works by York artist William Etty.

Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA)
CoCA highlights and celebrates our collection of British Studio Ceramics, which is the largest and amongst the most important in the UK and covers the entire British studio ceramics movement.

The Anthony Shaw Collection: Children Curate
Anthony Shaw’s impressive collection of art was assembled over a 40-year period and is on long-term loan to York Art Gallery. In this remarkable display, Anthony invited 28 Year Six children from Burton Green Primary to become Guest Curators and create their own exhibition using his collection.