From the world-class sculpture at The Henry Moore Institute to the varied Leeds Art Gallery collection, the exhibitions and permanent pieces at Temple Newsam House (the 'Hampton Court Palace of the North') and the diverse displays at The Munro House Gallery, Leeds does very well when it comes to its art galleries. There's certainly a lot to see, so take a look at our favourite Leeds art galleries below and start exploring this vibrant creative scene.
Framed within acres of beautiful parkland and sculpted gardens, Temple Newsam provides a breathtaking journey into history. With plenty of centuries-old artefacts to encounter, the imposing Tudor-Jacobean stately home forms the centrepiece of an educational day out. The small admission fee will give you the opportunity to explore the Grade I listed building’s many rooms, which are filled with period pieces such as weaponry, clothing, tableware and furniture. Extensive parkland designed by 18th-century landscape artist Capability Brown features a celebrated, vibrant rhododendron walk along with herb arrangements, rose bushes and floral displays, and many great picnicking spots.
Recognised for being of ‘national importance’ and described as hosting ‘probably the best collection of twentieth century British art outside London’, Leeds City Art Gallery is a must-visit. The gallery’s permanent collection includes works by JMW Turner, Paula Rego, Rembrandt, Francis Bacon and William Holman Hunt while a dedicated team ensure an inspiring, ever-changing programme of exhibitions which have recently included works by Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry and David Hockney.
‘The creative habit is like a drug. The particular obsession changes, but the excitement, the thrill of your creation lasts’. Nowhere is this observation from the famed Leeds sculptor more accurate than in the Henry Moore Institute. An imposing black granite structure built in 1993, the education centre is made up of four galleries showcasing installation art and sculpture from across the world. It’s worth braving the slightly intimidating entrance to become immersed in the ground-breaking work that’s on offer and chat to the supremely knowledgeable staff.
The Gallery at Munro House is a private, commercial art gallery that exhibits diverse media, including photography, illustration, painting, print, sculpture, animation, theatre and film. Munro is in strong creative company alongside Leeds College of Music, Yorkshire Dance, Northern Ballet, as well as several pubs and restaurants. The gallery works to not only exhibit but also sell work and support the city’s thriving art scene. Since the modern art space opened in 2011, the programme has included a diverse mix of well-established and emerging talents.
The uber-modern White Cloth Gallery serves numerous purposes, including art gallery, events space, bar and café. Nevertheless, photography and film are the main focus, providing a platform for new and well-established artists to exhibit and sell their work. It’s worth keeping an eye on the website for news of upcoming talks, screenings and workshops that are often held and prove rather popular.