Sunday, 17 October 2010

Leeds review of the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, Leeds University

What a fabulous place! Hidden away, up the white steps, in the Parkinson at the University, just inside the entrance. I only became aware of the existence of this little jewel of an art gallery because a friend of mine works in the building.

Although small it contains a memorable selection of one off original paintings by artists such as Etty, Spencer, Atkinson Grimshaw, Maggie Hamble, Sergeant, Ben Nicholson and more as well as a couple of impressive Jacob Epstein sculptures.

Additionally there is a stunning collection of minature sketches and watercolour paintings on ivory by Edward Westoby (1784-1873) housed for protection in a set of drawers.

A most pleasing aspect of this Leeds University collection is the inclusion of local artists like Atkinson Grimshaw, Epstein and Patrick Oliver as well as local images, most notably the impressive ‘Whitelocks’ of the oldest pub in Leeds, painted as oil on canvas by Maurice de Sausmarez when he was teaching here in the 1940s and 1950s.

When we went there was also an interactive activity taking place which involved attempting to draw a self portrait with a pen or pencil attached variously to a pole, a clockwork attachment and a counter co - ordination device. A great deal of fun and staff were very helpful and encouraging.

All in all this is not a huge place but well worth a visit with free entry and easy accessibility from the main road once at the University. One observation though why no Damien Hirst? He did after all spend many of his formative years in the city.

Find out more about the gallery at:

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I have always enjoyed problem solving for friends and family and as a teacher for the last 18 years this is part of what I do every day. During the last year I have been rediscovering a passion for writing and I have recently produced a short story and several reviews for my blog - Places to visit and eat/drink in Leeds, Yorkshire UK. I am also offering my services as a freelance writer.