Views of York: Exploring York through the York Art Gallery Evelyn Collection is made possible through funding and support from the following institutions: Friends of York Art Gallery, Department of History of Art at the University of York and the York Art Gallery (York Museums Trust).
The Friends of York Art Gallery was established in 1948 with the aim of creating a lively interest group with a passion for art, and to establish and maintain a fund to support the gallery’s work.
Today, the Friends play an important role in helping York Art Gallery achieve its acquisition targets by making grants for the purchase of works of art, conservation, and education, as well as helping to fund the gallery in other regards. An annual grant is made to sponsor MA Scholars (History of Art) at the University of York. Copies of the Scholars’ annual reports to the Friends on their research can be seen on the Education page.
Alongside their annual membership subscription, the Friends also organise an active events programme with a number of trips away, social luncheons, occasional art sales, and talks and tours to help raise funds for the gallery.
With around 900 existing members, the Friends are a growing group and always looking to welcome new members.
York Art Gallery’s collection of paintings spans more than 600 years and works range from 14th century Italian panels and 17th century Dutch masterpieces to Victorian narrative paintings and 20th century works by LS Lowry and David Hockney.
We also hold the most extensive and representative collection of British Studio Ceramics, thanks to the acquisition of collections from Dean Milner–White, WA Ismay and Henry Rothschild and the recent long term loan of Anthony Shaw’s collection.
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 in London of 1851. In 1892 it became the City Art Gallery.
The gallery looks out over Exhibition Square, also created in 1879, and beyond to the city walls and York Minster. The centrepiece of the square is a statue of York artist William Etty which was erected in 1911.
York Art Gallery holds the largest collection of work by Etty and in 2011 held the first major exhibition of his work for 50 years, showing many of these paintings and sketches alongside loans from other major galleries.