The ancient city of York has attracted the interest of many artists and photographers through the ages.  Our major exhibition Views of York documented those aspects of the city which captured their imagination and showed how perceptions changed over time. Early coloured maps from the British Library reveal the city’s medieval structure, whilst panoramas by York-based artist Frances Place, display a skyline full of interest and spectacle.

Displayed throughout Fairfax House from  April to  August 2012 were over a hundred paintings, watercolours and photographs focusing primarily on the setting of York, the rivers, its medieval streets, the famous walls, plus panoramic views of York, all of which have inspired artists over the last four centuries.

Watercolours from the British Museum by the artist Francis Place, who settled in York in the 1680s, were included, as were atmospheric studies by the likes of Turner, Girtin, Marlow and Scarborough artist H.B. Carter. The most recent paintings were by York artists John Langton and Jake Attree, plus a dramatic watercolour of the Minster by M.H. Bradley, painted on V.E.Day 1945, with the nearby anti-aircraft searchlights trained onto the Minster’s West Front after six years of darkness.

Private loans for this exhibition were supplemented by loans from public institutions, including the British Museum, the British Library and York Art Gallery.

Exhibition Catalogue
The exhibition was accompanied by a fully illustrated 264 page catalogue by former Trust Director Peter Brown MBE.  The book contains over 150 colour and 100 black and white images, many of them not previously published. It featured 45 artists including: J.M.W. Turner, Thomas Girtin, John Varley, John White Abbott, H.B. Carter and Nathaniel Whittock. A few remaining copies are available to purchase at Fairfax House and Waterstones.
We aim to upload a PDF of the catalogue, although it is a very large file.
York Primary School Competition
Winners of the ‘Views of York’ primary school competition accompanying the exhibition were Christian Cain, Minster School with his painting The Minster on a Windy Day; Rosie Carter, Lakeside School with her painting The Shambles; Kevin Chirayil, Lord Deramore’s School with his painting The Bridge of York; Amy Foster, St Paul’s School with her painting In a Different Light; Molly Hazelwood, St Paul’s School with her painting St Mary’s Abbey and Daniel Hicks, The Minster School with his painting Storm approaching the Chapter House.
The winners had their entries displayed as part of the exhibition and were included in the exhibition catalogue.
Read more about the Views of York story in The York Press. Click here
A number of members of the public told the Civic Trust which are their favourite Views of York, as invited by The York Press. Click here
Click below to download the York Minister Revealed publication from an earlier popular exhibition.