York Art Gallery’s collection of paintings spans more than 600 years and works range from 14th century Italian panels and 17th century Dutch masterpieces to Victorian narrative paintings and 20th century works by LS Lowry and David Hockney. They also hold the most extensive and representative collection of British Studio Ceramics. The building which houses the gallery opened its doors to the public in 1879 for the second Yorkshire Fine Art and Industrial Exhibition, inspired by the Great Exhibition in London of 1851. In 1892 it became the City Art Gallery. The gallery looks out over Exhibition Square, also created in 1879, and beyond to the city walls and York Minster. The centrepiece of the square is a statue of York artist William Etty which was erected in 1911.

Is the York Art Gallery suitable for children?

Yes, of course! York Art Gallery is family-friendly and they aim to be as inclusive as possible. There are activities, events and workshops available throughout the year. Help younger visitors to find out more about artists whose work is on display in the gallery, with activity suggestions to extend experience and research skills.

York Art Gallery’s collection of over 1,000 paintings is exceptional for its range in covering the history of Western European painting. They have continental paintings from the 14th to the 19th centuries. Strengths include gold-ground panels from 14th century Italy, painted as part of church altarpieces, 17th century Dutch morality paintings, and 19th century French painting by artists working before and at the same time as the Impressionists. The Studio at York Art Gallery is a bright, spacious room full of materials, objects and ideas to inspire your creative side. The Project Gallery showcases work with local communities and contemporary artists responding to their collections.

The permanent displays of nationally and internationally important art are free for you to enjoy. Expected duration: 1.5 to 2 hours.

  • Monday – CLOSED
  • Tuesday – CLOSED
  • Wednesday – 11:00 to 16:00
  • Thursday – 11:00 to 16:00
  • Friday – 11:00 to 16:00
  • Saturday – 11:00 to 16:00
  • Sunday – 11:00 to 16:00

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