Leeds Art Gallery
Discover centuries of art in the recently renovated Leeds Art Gallery; where renowned artists like Bacon, Derain, Rembrandt and Rego can be found alongside locals like Hepworth, Kramer and Moore. Here you will find everything from sprawling landscapes, to impassioned portraiture, iconic sculptures and genuine masterpieces. All of which is located just a 10 minute walk from 42 the Calls in Leeds city centre.
A Star-Studded Permanent Collection
Unbeknown to most, Leeds Art Gallery is home to a great many giants in the history of art. So spare yourself that excruciating excursion to London, and get yourself down to Leeds’ city centre - where you can delight in some of the most famous works of art in the world.
Not to be missed on your visit are a range of seminal works, including Francis Bacon’s Painting, 1950 - an oil on canvas, bought by the Leeds Art Fund for a then significant fee of £220. Although, this is a far cry from the hundreds of millions a Bacon will set you back today.
In the not so distant past, you may have had to journey as far as Paris to feast your eyes on a Fauvist masterpiece. But fret not, a stroll around Leeds Art Gallery will acquaint you with André Derain’s venerated, vivid imaginings of London in Barges on the Thames (1906).
The capacity of imagination and female empowerment of Paula Rego’s larger than life, The Artist in her Studio (1993) is another canvas which commands attention; with further embellishments arriving in the form of Rembrandt etchings, Turner watercolours, Rodin bronzes, and a marble sculpture by Antonio Canova. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for temporary exhibitions held throughout the year, in the past featuring British treasures like Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry and David Hockney.
A Home of Local Leeds Legends
While Leeds houses a wealth of international talent within its exhibition spaces, nothing quite beats the lineup of local artists who live in the Leeds Art Gallery. From relative unknowns, to world renowned names - discover Leeds through the ages with this eclectic collection of artworks.
Among the more famous names flying the flag for Yorkshire are John Atkinson Grimshaw - whose imaginative 19th century landscapes of the locale include: Leeds Bridge (1880), Boar Lane (1881) and Park Row (1882). Accompanied by a modernist master of the following century in Barbara Hepworth, and highly regarded canvases like her Fenestration of the Ear and The Poet Reading to His Children - both from 1948.
Jacob Kramer is another internationally renowned artist to have cut his teeth in Leeds, in his career painting portraits for the likes of Mahatma Gandhi and Frederick Delius - the latter of which can be discovered within the Leeds Art Gallery!
Other lesser known Leeds landscapes which are not to be missed include: Norman Ackroyd’s A View of Leeds (1979), Leeds City Art Gallery (1993) by Jane Sands, Leeds Canal (1914) by Charles Ginner, Georg Sauter’s The Leeds Picture (1908) and Leeds from the Meadows (1825) by Joseph Rhodes.
Recent Renovations & Undiscovered Secret Spaces!
When Leeds Art Gallery temporarily closed its doors to undergo essential repairs back in 2016, no one would have anticipated the discovery of a beautiful barrel vaulted roof; which had remained a secret for over 40 years! But that’s exactly what happened, and now this secret space is set to (literally) shed new light on a stunning new gallery, which will be revealed to the public for the first time in October.
For the unveiling of the exhibition space, Arena (2000) - a major sculpture by renowned British artist Alison Wilding, will take centre stage, having recently been gifted to Leeds from the Contemporary Art Society. She too will be joined by Joseph Beuys, where the German artist will be remembered across three rooms, in a major exhibition dedicated to the work of a man who deeply believed in the healing power and social function of art - a fitting tribute to the newly reformed Leeds Art Gallery!
Enjoy Caches of Culture with 42 the Calls
Fortunately for you, a four star stay at our charming boutique hotel will place you in the midst of the city’s cultural offerings - with Leeds Art Gallery located a mere 10 minute walk from 42 the Calls.
And the institution is but one of Leeds’ thriving cultural centres! Here’s our guide to four other art galleries situated within walking distance from our hotel.