York Art Gallery, Museums Trust

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York Art Gallery Building

Arts Development in northern England, UK – design by Ushida Findlay / Simpson Brown

2 Jan 2017

York City Art Gallery Shortlisted for Mies van der Rohe 2017 Awards

Mies van der Rohe 2017 Award Nominations

23 Jun 2016

A RIBA National Award Winner 2016

York Art Gallery

Art Fund Museum of the Year Shortlist – 10 May 2016

York Art Gallery building
photograph © Giles Rocholl Photography

2 Apr 2012

York Art Gallery Building

£3.5 million set to be given to York Museums Trust for £7.6 million development of York Art Gallery

Design: Ushida Findlay with Simpson Brown

A £3.5 million grant from the Arts Council Capital Fund has been earmarked for York Museums Trust for its ambitious plans for York Art Gallery.

The Arts Council have given their initial backing to award £3.5 million towards the £7.6 million development of the gallery which is set to be completed in Easter 2015.

Once finished, the gallery will have 60 per cent more exhibition space, which will allow it to host large exhibitions of international quality.

A new “secret gallery” on the first floor will become the Centre for British Studio Ceramics, showcasing works from the world’s most extensive and representative collection of modern ceramics.

A £2 million private legacy and £500,000 from the City of York Council have already been raised for the project, with York Museums Trust now working to secure the rest of the funding. Denise Jagger, chair of the Trustees for York Museums Trust, said: “This award, following the recent core funding from the Arts Council*, is yet further testament to the creative and high calibre team leading the York Museums Trust. These new plans contribute to the valuable tourist experience the City of York offers and enrich the lives of York residents”.

Janet Barnes, chief executive of York Museums Trust, said: “We are delighted that the Arts Council Capital Fund has backed our proposals for York Art Gallery. It means that we are now in a position where we can submit plans for the development which will completely transform the areas within the original footprint of the listed building.

“The development will considerably increase the amount of exhibition space, allowing us to showcase much more of our own collections as well as hosting exhibitions of an international standard.

“It will also allow the gallery to become a Centre of British Ceramics, dedicating the large and spectacular “secret gallery” to our ceramic collections. With the recent long term loan of the Anthony Shaw collection, we now have more than 5,000 pieces of British Studio Ceramics, making us a world leader in this field.”

Cluny Macpherson, Regional Director, Arts Council England said: “We’re thrilled that all three applicants in Yorkshire have been successful at this stage, and it’s testament to the innovative thinking behind the organisations’ proposals. The fact that there’s demand amongst communities for arts and cultural activity despite hard times, proves that the arts and culture are something that people really value. By helping these organisations to increase their capacity, and develop programmes of work that enable them to become more resilient and sustainable, we’re making sure that people who want to take part can do – whatever the economic climate.”

If the rest of the funding is secured and planning is permitted, the gallery will close on December 31 this year for work to start.

Architects Ushida Findlay and conservation architects Simpson & Brown are now working closely with York Museums Trust to finalise the plans to be submitted.

The 60 per cent more exhibition space will be achieved by using the space above the Main Gallery (The Secret Gallery) and by expanding into rooms currently occupied by the City Archives. They are set to move to new premises in Explore, the City Library.

On the ground floor, the expanded suite of three exhibition galleries will enable York Art Gallery to host large, nationally important exhibitions.

The development will also include:

• Better visitor facilities including new cafe, shop, toilets and lift,
• Improved learning spaces,
• A much improved storage for the collections

From the Secret Gallery on the first floor, visitors will have access to a new external route leading into newly created gardens that will link to York Museum Gardens. The new area of the gardens will also open in 2015.

Centre for British Studio Ceramics

York Art Gallery now holds the world’s 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 loan of Anthony Shaw’s collection.

Highlights from the collection will be displayed in a large space which has been hidden since the 1950’s.

This “secret gallery” space, with its beautiful architectural features, is part of the original full height exhibition gallery which opened in the late 1870’s.

Opening up the Secret Gallery and creating a new Upper South Gallery (above the current South Gallery) will make use of the height of the Victorian building. This will add some 450m² of high quality gallery space.

These two new galleries will become the Centre for British Studio Ceramics, showcasing our world class collections of more than 5,000 British Studio Ceramics which span the twentieth century and come right up to the present day.

Our displays and special exhibitions will be supported by archives and visible open storage for much of the collections. The Centre for British Studio Ceramics will establish York as the place to study and enjoy ceramics.

York Gallery Building – Further Information

* York Museums Trust has already been awarded £3.5 million core funding as part of the Arts Council’s Renaissance Major Partner Museums, announced in January 2012. This will be given to the Trust over the next three years.

This additional planned investment of £3.5 million from Arts Council Capital Funding is specifically for the York Art Gallery development.

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk

York Art Gallery opens daily, from 10am until 5pm, and admission is free.

Contact York Art Gallery: telephone 01904 687687.

York Art Gallery information from York Museums Trust

Ushida Findlay

Foundation Myths at York Art Gallery
Design: Charles Holland, Ordinary Architecture
Foundation Myths at York Art Gallery
photo © Ainsworth Maguire

Address: Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EW
Phone: 01904 687687


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