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York Civic Trust

The York Knowledge: Art


John Piper won a prize for this post-war view

Blackburn family stained glass window, All Saints North Street

Views of York - the catalogue has many images of the city
York throughout the ages has provided opportunities for artists and sculptors through public and private patronage and the results are everywhere to be seen throughout the city. Many of the works from earlier ages can be found either in situ, often within or as part of historic structures, or in museums and galleries or in the collections that furnish historic buildings.

York also has many private collections of artworks relating to the city. York has since the 17th century attracted topographical artists and there are extensive collections and catalogues of their work. Other artists, such as William Etty, either came from York or have found the city a congenial place in which to work.

There is a flourishing community of contemporary artists whose work can be seen in a number of commercial galleries and in an annual Open Studios event. There are several art societies. York is also a centre for the study of art, the University of York having a large Department of History of Art and a Stained Glass Studies Research School. The University of York St John offers art courses including an MA in Fine Arts. York College also offers a number of art-related courses. Several York libraries have important reference collections on subjects relating to art.

Art Galleries Museums and Collections
York Art Gallery 
Merchant Adventurers' Hall
Fairfax House
National Railway Museum
Treasurer's House
Bar Convent
Mansion House
York Museums Trust
York St Mary's
York Castle Museum
University of York
Royal Dragoon Guards Museum
Beningbrough Hall
Nunnington Hall
Castle Howard
Borthwick Institute, University of York

Important Stained Glass
All Saints, North Street
All Saints, Pavement
St Martin, Coney Street
St Denys, Walmgate
St Helen, St Helen's Square
St Martin-cum-Gregory  Micklegate (limited access)
St Michael-le-Belfry  Deangate
Holy Trinity, Goodramgate
St Michael, Spurriergate
York Minster
Yorkshire Museum Museum Gardens

Stained Glass Studios
York Glaziers Trust
The York Glaziers Trust run regular tours at their Bedern Studios, off Goodramgate. Click here for more details.
Barley Studios

Roman Sculpture
The main collections of Roman sculpture, mosaics, architectural fragments and artefacts are in the Yorkshire Museum. For a catalogue of Roman sculpture, art and architectural fragments up to 1960 see:  Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (1962) City of York Vol 1 Eburacum Roman York. Later finds are described in fascicules of the York Archaeological Trust's publications The Archaeology of York, and issues of Interim - Bulletin of the York Archaeological Trust and Yorkshire Archaeology Today.
Yorkshire Museum

Anglo-Saxon and Viking Age Sculpture
The main collections of Anglian, Anglo-Saxon and Viking age sculpture and art objects are in:
The Yorkshire Museum
York Minster, Undercroft
Holy Redeemer, Boroughbridge Road (where fabric of St Mary Bishophill Sr was relocated)
All Saints, Pavement (single decorated slab)

For a catalogue of York Anglo-Saxon Sculpture see British Academy: Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Sculpture Vol 3 (1991) James Lang, York and Eastern Yorkshire

Medieval Sculpture

The main collections of medieval sculpture are to be found in situ mainly in York's medieval churches, particularly in York Minster.  In addition the Yorkshire Museum holds outstanding examples of sculpture, especially fragments excavated from St Mary's Abbey and fragments of St William's Shrine, formerly in York Minster.  Outstanding collections of artefacts are to be found in York Minster Undercroft and in the Yorkshire Museum. For York Minster sculpture see  Sarah Brown (2003) York Minster: An Architectural History c.1220-1500 (English Heritage); for St Mary's sculpture see Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (1975) City of York Vol 4 Outside of the City Walls East of the Ouse.
Yorkshire Museum
York Minster

Ceramics
York has produced especially rich collections of excavated medieval pottery. The main collection, described in a handbook by Sarah Jennings (1992) Medieval Pottery in the Yorkshire Museum. Many examples excavated since 1972 are held by York Archaeological Trust;  YAT has published these in its Fascicules of The Archaeology of York.

York Art Gallery has a special Ceramic Art collection.  Among 20th century art pottery are the Eric Milner White Collection and the Ismay Collection and other collections are also on show. For the Milner White collection see Sarah Riddick (1990) Pioneer Studio Pottery: The Milner White Collection.

Commercial Galleries and Studios
Ken Spelman
Janette Ray
Minster Gate Books
Kentmere House Gallery
The Blake Gallery
School House Gallery
The Blue Tree Gallery
Bar Lane Studios
York Open Studios
North Yorkshire Open Studios

Libraries with holdings on art
York Minster Library
York Art Gallery
University of York Library
University of York: Digital Library

Courses
History of Art Department, University of York
York St John University
York College
Bar Lane Studios
Future Prospects (Learning for Life- part-time courses)
University of York - Centre for Lifelong Learning

Societies
Friends of York Art Gallery
NADFAS (National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies, York Branch)
Society for Art and Architecture Scholarship in York (SAASY)
York Artworkers Association
York Civic Trust

Catalogues and Publications
The Public Catalogue Foundation: North Yorkshire (2005)
Views of York: York Civic Trust (2012)
The Archaeology of York: The Pictorial Evidence: St Mary's Abbey and the King's Manor (2009)
The City Walls and Castles of York (2005)
'The Fairest Arch in England' Old Ouse Bridge and its buildings (2002)
The medieval parish churches of York (1998)

York Artists

William Etty (1787-1849)
John Flaxman (1755-1826)
Francis Place (1647-1728)
Austin Wright (1911-1997)

Current
Sally Arnup
Jake Attree
Nathan Chanery
John Langton
Mark Hearld
Freya Horsley
See also: York Open Studios