Leeds Art Gallery

Leeds Art Gallery
The Headrow
West Yorkshire







0113 247 8248


0113 247 8254


0113 244 9689

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At Leeds Art Gallery you can find some of the most outstanding works of British Art outside of London.

Venue Type:

Gallery, Museum

Opening hours

Monday & Tuesday 10am - 5pm
Wednesday 12pm - 5pm
Thursday - Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 1pm - 5pm
Closed on bank holidays

Admission charges


Leeds City Art Gallery has a Designated Collection of national importance.

An outstanding collection of English watercolours; fine Victorian academic and Pre-Raphaelite painting; late 19th century French pictures and "probably the best collection of 20th century British art outside London" (The Times) Extensive collection of modern sculpture.

Collection details

Fine Art

Key artists and exhibits

  • Atkinson Grimshaw
  • L.S. Lowry
  • Stanley Spencer
  • Andre Derain
  • Henry Moore
  • John Sell Cotman
  • J. M. W. Turner
  • Cozens
  • Girtin
  • Paula Rego
  • Gillian Ayres
  • Damien Hirst
  • Alison Wilding
  • Mark Wallinger
  • Annelies Strba
  • Tacita Dean
  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Narrating Objects

  • 1 May 2014 — 1 June 2015 *on now

This sculpture collection display explores the relationships between sculpture and narrative; from the iconographies of portrait and figure sculpture, through sculptures which have words or text embedded, to constructions, assemblages and installations which suggest movement, process or a sequence of events.

A number of recent acquisitions are presented for the first time alongside important works of art that form the core of our ever-expanding sculpture collection. At the centre of the display is ‘Rebekkah’ (2011) by Simon Fujiwara, which was presented to Leeds Museums and Galleries by the Contemporary Art Society in 2013. Telling the story of a young British girl’s journey to China, ‘Rebekkah’ is surrounded by life-sized figurative sculpture dating from the early nineteenth century to the present day, including works by Antonio Canova and Antony Gormley.



Cross Currents

  • 21 June 2014 — 21 June 2015 *on now

The display which draws together works of French art from the Gallery’s permanent collection looks at the allure and excitement of new art from France that impacted on English artists, but also on Yorkshire-based collectors emerging from the enclosed world of late Victorian painting.

From early acquisitions at the end of the 19th century to the taste for Barbizon and the spirit of the outdoors, to paintings of modern life and Gallery director (1934 – 45) Phillip Hendy’s pioneering efforts to bring works by the post-Impressionists Derain, Vuillard and Bonnard into the Leeds collection. The display will also include works by Doré, Courbet, Lucien Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Henri Fantin-Latour and others.

Sculpture by Rodin and an acquisition new to Leeds and previously unseen - a bronze by Edgar Degas, ‘Portrait de femme, tête appuyée sur la main gauche (Portrait of a Woman: Head Resting on One Hand)’ given (2013) in lieu of tax from the estate of the notable British painter Lucien Freud, also feature in this display which draws together works of French art entirely from the Gallery’s permanent collection. Widely known for its collection of 20th century British art this display will bring to the fore a lesser known though nevertheless significant aspect of the Galleries holdings.



Eyes Cast

  • 3 October 2014 — 18 January 2015 *on now

Elín Jakobsdóttir presents Eyes Cast, a new film alongside plumpe Denken Modalities, a new series of paper cut-outs and drawings.

This German expression ‘plumpe Denken’ is taken from Bertolt Brecht who stated a preference for working with plump or clumsy thoughts. The drawings are concerned with the territory of the mind and body, bringing together objects from the everyday environment, body parts, abstract shapes and lines that trace pathways of thought, humour and poetic ambiguity.

Eyes Cast, shot in Super 8 on location in Leeds Art Gallery is a silent visual poem that traces a path through the building focussing on two bronze portrait busts by Jacob Epstein asking questions about the durability of the artwork, highlighting our own mortality and shifts between factual document and reverie.



Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Herbert Read, drawing of an old soldier

Ambush and Retreat: Herbert Read and the First World War

  • 2 December 2014 6-7pm

Ben Read offers insights into the war-time experiences of his father, the eminent art and literary critic, poet and essayist Sir Herbert Read. Drawing on the family archive, Ben Read presents unpublished drawings made by Herbert Read as a soldier during the First World War. He also comments on how the conditions of war affected Herbert Read’s international relations and came to influence his later work and career.

As well as teaching at the Courtauld Institute, Ben Read was Deputy Witt Librarian there until 1990, when he became Senior Lecturer in Art History at the University of Leeds. At Leeds he was Director of the MA Sculpture Studies programme, under the auspices of the Henry Moore Foundation, from 1990 to 1997. He is a former chairman of the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association and of the Leeds Art Fund, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

The talk is accompanied by a book launch of Read's war writings and drawings.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.



Exciting muliti-sensory events for very young people and their carers. Come along to Leeds City Art Gallery once a month on Friday, 10.00-12.00.

How to obtain

The activities are free and there's no need to book - just drop in. The dates do change each week so check out the online calendar of events for specific details.

Sessions at the Gallery


Workshops are aimed at GCSE and A level students who are looking to develop their portfolio of work.

How to obtain

Booking is required for these workshops. Call 0113 247 8254 to book or for more details.

Visit Leeds City Art Gallery


A PDF resource to help adult learners make the most of Leeds Art Gallery


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.