A series of occasional essays by members of the Friends

The Road to Calvary by Marten van Cleve

Professor Jeanne Nuechterlein of the History of Art Department, University of York, discusses a favourite painting from the Gallery’s collection. The identity of the artist has long been debated but through her research Jeanne has found the probable solution.

Captain Foote by Reynolds: an Indian Perspective

Reading Decoloniality in the Portrait of Captain John Foote by Joshua Reynolds, c. 1765:  An Indian Perspective.

An occasional essay for Friends of York Art Gallery by Kuhu Kopariha, a curator from Mumbai, currently completing her MA in History of Art. She is the recipient of the Friends of York Art Gallery Scholarship. Click the button below to read Kuhu’s essay.


In August 2022, Moira Fulton, who is currently Events-Co-ordinator for the Friends of York Art Gallery, gave a talk to the Friends about this painting. Click the button below to read her notes.

The Slade & Bloomsbury

Eliza Goodpasture, a student in the Department of History of Art at the University of York, writes about the Slade School of Fine Art in connection with the Bloomsbury exhibition (2022) at York Art Gallery.

Ann Stokes, Potter (1922-2014)

The CoCA collection at York Art Gallery includes four ceramic pieces by Ann Stokes – The White Wall Mounted Swan, The Trigger Fish Serving Platter, the Globe Fish, and the Swan Looking Glass.

Hannah Savage, a member of York Art Gallery’s Visitor Experience Team, explores the fascinating life and work of the potter Ann Stokes, wife of the art critic and painter Adrian Stokes. 


Ann Stokes, Swan Looking Glass
©The Estate of Ann Stokes/York Museums Trust

Art as Therapy

Art galleries normally organize their hangs on chronological, historical, or thematic principles, and the labels which guide our looking follow established art-historical priorities and help to determine our response. Ronald Clayton, a members of the Friends comittee, here explores a rather different way that displays might be conceived and organized, in the hope of prompting a debate on these important matters.

Dudley Holland: The Artist and the Man

Dr Richard Keesing, who has a long association with the Friends, writes with great enthusiasm about the life and works of a favourite painter of his, Dudley Holland (1915-1956), who for a short time was Principal of York Art School. The Gallery has a fine example of his work, entitled Transition, presented by friends of the artist in 1951.

The Portrait of Monsignor Agucchi in York Art Gallery

This essay, by Charles Martindale, Interim Chair of the Friends, is concerned with a painting in the Gallery, The Portrait of Monsignor Agucchi, but it broadens out into discussion of some more general issues: problems of attribution; changing tastes; and the nature of portraiture. 

The Friends in Lockdown

In this piece written earlier in lockdown, Charles Martindale, Interim Chair, reflects on the importance of the Friends for the past and future of York Art Gallery.