History of The Friends of York Art Gallery

The Friends of York Art Gallery were founded in 1948 and made their first contribution the following year with the purchase of ‘Samson and Delilah’ (1642) by Pieter Soutman for £160. In the following decades the Friends have contributed in excess of £600,000 to the acquisition of more than 150 works of art. These include paintings, drawings, photography, film, sculpture and ceramics, as well as the conservation or restoration of a wide variety of works in the Gallery collection. A selection of the art to which the Friends have contributed appears on the Acquisitions page.

The story of the Friends’ remarkable contribution to the cultural life of the City of York can be found in ‘The Friends of York Art Gallery: A Brief History’ by Sarah Sheils. Copies are available at the Gallery Shop or via the Friends of York Art Gallery, York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EW. This publication is given free of charge to new members.