Leeds Art Gallery

Leeds Art Gallery, located in the heart of the city on the Headrow, is one of the UK’s leading art galleries. Leeds Art Fund is proud to have a long association with this great institution.

Supporting the gallery for over 100 years

Leeds Art Gallery was until 1922 when Temple Newsam opened, the focus of all the acquisitions, as the new gallery was heavily reliant on donations and loans to fill the galleries. Over the last hundred years our funds helped acquire works by notable contemporary artists which formed the truly remarkable collection of twentieth century British art represented by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Francis Bacon and artists working in St Ives during the 1950s and 1960s such as Terry Frost, Paul Feiler and Peter Lanyon.

Age of Bronze
Age of Bronze

Acquiring contemporary work

We continue to support the acquisition of contemporary work especially by artists underrepresented in the historic collections. We have contributed to the purchase of a number of works by women artists such as Paula Rego, and Bridget Riley, known for her Op Art paintings characterised by optical illusions and visually disruptive geometric patterns.

We are currently supporting the decolonisation work of the curatorial team through acquisitions of works by artists from more diverse backgrounds.

Winter Palace by Bridget Riley © the artist and Karsten Schubert Gallery
Winter Palace by Bridget Riley © the artist and Karsten Schubert Gallery

Increasing the holdings of local artists

The work of Leeds Art Fund has also enriched the holdings of local artists such as John Atkinson Grimshaw, known for his atmospheric nocturnal landscapes, and Jacob Kramer, ensuring that the collection always has strong roots in the city.

In 2022 to mark the city of culture celebrations in Leeds in 2023, the Fund covered the total cost to purchase Reflections on the Aire: On Strike by Grimshaw.

The Talmudists by Kramer was purchased for the collection with a significant anonymous donation from a member of the Leeds Art Fund. Jacob Kramer, a Jewish-Ukrainian artist who settled in Leeds, is known for his Vorticist religious scenes.

The Talmudists by Jacob Kramer © The William Roberts Society
The Talmudists by Jacob Kramer © The William Roberts Society

Contributing to the works on paper collection

The works on paper collection at Leeds is one of the finest in the country and was started in the 1920s and 1930s by Robert Hawthorn Kitson whose ambition was to create the best collection of watercolours in the country.

The Fund managed the fundraising campaign to purchase the Farnley Book of Birds, which included studies of birds by Joseph Mallord William Turner. We also supported the purchase of another watercolour of a Yorkshire scene by Turner, The Valley of the Washburn. This work was also completed by Turner on a visit to Farnley Hall.

Other galleries we support

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