Ferens Art Gallery

Ferens Art Gallery
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Opened in 1927, the award winning Ferens Art Gallery combines internationally renowned permanent collections with a thriving programme of temporary exhibitions. We also run a lively education and events programme that includes talks and art workshops.

The gallery's first-class permanent collection of paintings and sculpture spans the medieval period to the present day. These include European Old Masters, particularly Dutch and Flemish, portraiture, marine paintings, modern and contemporary British art, including video. Highlights include masterpieces by Frans Hals, Antonio Canaletto, Stanley Spencer, David Hockney, Helen Chadwick and Gillian Wearing.

Part of the Designated Collections of national importance relating to the city and region of Kingston upon Hull are on display here.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Mon-Sat 1000-1630
Sun 1100-1600

Admission charges


Part of a Designated Collection of national importance is on display at this gallery.

Collection details

Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Archives

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Portrait of William Wilberforce

COMING HOME: William Wilberforce

  • 21 September 2019 — 19 January 2020 *on now

Sir Thomas Lawrence’s famous portrait of William Wilberforce will be exhibited in Hull at the Ferens Art Gallery as part of a major project launched by the National Portrait Gallery. The COMING HOME project sees the National Portrait Gallery lend 50 portraits of iconic individuals to places across the UK with which they are most closely associated.

William Wilberforce was born in 1759, the son of a Hull merchant. In 1780, Wilberforce was elected MP for Hull, and through tireless efforts, became the parliamentary spokesperson for the British campaign to abolish Transatlantic Slavery.

As Wilberforce’s portrait will journey home, an accompanying exhibition will look at the journey of his legacy. Starting with Wilberforce, his life in Hull and his pivotal role in the Abolition campaign, the exhibition will explore how his memory has been celebrated in the City and inspired anti-slavery campaigner Salim Charles Wilson in the 1900s. The exhibition also includes a 2007 commission for Hull by Jamaican artist Keith Piper to mark the national bicentenary of the abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

The portrait will be on display in the Ferens Art Gallery together with works from the Ferens, and Wilberforce House Museum permanent collections.

Painting of Rye Harbour

Reflection: British Art in an Age of Change

  • 17 August 2019 — 5 January 2020 *on now

This major partnership exhibition features over 120 artworks. They are drawn jointly from the Ingram Collection of Modern British and Contemporary Art, and the Ferens collection.

Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy important artworks new to Hull, in conversation with existing highlights from the local collection. A number of Ferens works are rarely seen treasures, including watercolours, prints and drawings less often on public display due to their fragility to light.

Reflection presents a dynamic and diverse vision of Britain and British art, which asks questions about identity and belonging. What does it mean to be British? How do we define British art? How do we present ourselves to the world?

Some of the artists were born in Britain and travelled elsewhere through choice or necessity; others were born elsewhere and travelled here. Some artists worked a hundred years ago; others are just starting on their careers.

Visitors are invited to reflect and celebrate a century of creative achievement by those whose loves, fears, doubts and dreams are expressed through their painting, drawing, sculpture, print, collage, photography and video.

Artists in the exhibition include: Graham Dean, Elisabeth Frink, Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney, Henry Moore, Bridget Riley, Eric Ravilious, Victoria Sin, and Gillian Wearing.

Curated by James Russell

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.

Art across the curriculum


This resource about using art in galleries as a starting point for cross curricular work has some useful tips: choose a work large enough for a whole class to explore together in the gallery, take a risk - children are fantastic at making their own interpretations of both contemporary and historical artwork, look for unexpected curriculum links.


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

Connect>Create 2008


Focussing on Hull's contemporary art collection including work by Helen Chadwick, Mark Wallinger, Alan Currall, Seamus Nicholson and Paul Hodgson, with creative responses to their work by Art and Design students.


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

Connect>Create 2009


Work of HE and FE students inspired by Hull's contemporary art, with a fascinating audio clip called Hull Under Water by Michael Hirst.


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

Hull Through the Eyes of a Sculptor


Explore the maritime themed sculpture in Hull called Siren, by Chris Dobrowolski, and examine how ideas and meanings can be communicated through three dimensional forms.


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

Hull Traders: Revolutionary Fabrics


Revolutionary design by Shirley Craven and Hull Traders and the exuberant, fun and colourful designs of the Sixties’ pop era show the cross-fertilisation of ideas in painting, textiles and furniture design.


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

Self Image


An insight with video and audio clips into how four artists, Alan Currall, Gavin Turk, John Coplans and John Byam Shaw explored a range of issues and ideas about self image and portraiture by turning their attention upon themselves or their families.


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

Surrealist Art: Objects and Meanings


Surrealism is a popular movement with pupils and adults alike for its playful mixture of objects and images in unexpected situations and its shock tactics. This resource has been written to support pupils study of Surrealism but it encourages a focus on British artists and indicates the ongoing influence Surrealism has on British art.


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

The Painted Lady - Tudor Portraits at the Ferens


Learn about the Tudors through investigating their art. Investigate William Segar's portrait A Noblewoman, along with other examples from the period.


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

Ferens Art Gallery
Queen Victoria Square
East Yorkshire






01482 613902

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.