Manhattan Dress by Zandra Rhodes donated by LAF member Ruth Sherwin
Manhattan Dress by Zandra Rhodes donated by LAF member Ruth Sherwin

Lotherton Hall

Leeds Art Fund members are entitled to free unlimited entry (during normal hours) to Lotherton Hall. During regular events led by the curatorial team our members are able to glimpse behind the scenes.

Supported by Leeds Art Fund since 1968

Lotherton Hall, near Aberford, was the late Victorian/Edwardian family home of the Gascoignes. It was given to the city, fully furnished, in 1968, since when Leeds Art Fund has supported a range of acquisitions for the decorative art collections dating from 1800 to the present. It houses the important costume and textile collection as well as examples of contemporary craft.

Lotherton Drawing Room at Christmas
Lotherton Drawing Room at Christmas

Acquisitions related to the families who lived there

Many of the items we have helped to acquire for Lotherton Hall relate to the families who lived there, most notably the Gascoigne family who bought the estate in 1825 and gave the house and contents to the City of Leeds in 1968.

The house was opened to the public in 1969 while the last owners, Sir Alvary and Lady Gascoigne, were still in residence. It is a gentleman’s residence rather than a grand mansion and still has the feel of a family home.

The Library at Lotherton Hall

Letters from Florence Nightingale

In 2022 we contributed to the purchase of two despatch boxes that had been retained by the family after the house was given to the city in 1968.

These boxes included a number of letters from Florence Nightingale who was related to Mrs Gwendolen Gascoigne and which illustrate the family’s wide social, political and scientific connections. Amongst the papers is an intimate portrait of Florence by her sister Parthenope Nightingale.

Leeds fashion and costume collections

Lotherton houses changing displays from the important Leeds fashion and costume collections. Leeds Art Fund has helped acquire clothes by major fashion designers such as Zandra Rhodes and Vivienne Westwood. In addition, we have supported the historic collection, most recently with the purchase, in partnership with the Friends of Leeds City Museums, of a pair of silk shoes for a child from about 1730.

Jacket by Vivienne Westwood purchase supported by Leeds Art Fund
Jacket by Vivienne Westwood purchase supported by Leeds Art Fund

Supporting contemporary crafts collections

Contemporary crafts are shown at Lotherton and complement the historic collections of applied art housed at Temple Newsam.

The table and chairs are by the innovative designer of the 1970s and 1980s, Fred Baier, who was one of the first to use computer generated design for his furniture.

Leeds Art Fund has supported acquisitions of work by local makers such as the signature lustreware pots of ceramicist, Sutton Taylor. He is one of the UK’s leading potters and lived and worked for a period at Lotherton.

Contemporary collections at Lotherton Hall including a table and chairs by Fred Baier and Large Porcelain Piece with Triangular Rim by Daniel Fisher

Other galleries we support

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