York Art Gallery's collections are of national and international importance and have all been awarded 'designated' status. Our collection of over 1,000 paintings is exceptional for its range and interest and we have a nationally significant collection of twentieth-century studio ceramics.
The building that houses York Art Gallery opened its doors to the public in 1879 for the second Yorkshire Fine Art and Industrial Exhibition. The City Council became responsible for running the Gallery in 1892.
The gallery has benefited from a number of significant purchases, gifts and bequests, including the John Burton bequest of Victorian paintings in 1882, the purchase of Dr W. A. Evelyn’s vast collection of prints, drawings and watercolours depicting the City of York in 1931, the outstanding collection of Old Master paintings presented by F. D. Lycett Green through the Art Fund in 1955 and the gift of pioneer studio pottery and early 20th-century paintings from Eric Milner White, Dean of York.
Highlights from York Art Gallery’s collection include studio ceramics by Hans Coper, Lucie Rie, Shoji Hamada and Bernard Leech and paintings by Domenichino, Bernardo Bellotto, Sir Peter Lely, York-born artist William Etty and important modern paintings by Paul Nash, L. S. Lowry and Ben Nicholson.