York Art Gallery, now part of York Museums Trust, was built for the second Yorkshire Fine Art and Industrial Exhibition in 1879 and became the City Art Gallery in 1892. The gallery spaces show a diverse and fascinating collection of paintings and works on paper from the 14th to the 19th centuries, with notable pieces by Thomas Rowlandson, John Varley, Thomas Girtin and JMW Turner. There is a good collection of 17th and 18th-century British portraits, a group of Victorian narrative paintings and early 20th-century paintings by artists of the Camden Town Group who had worked around Walter Sickert. The gallery is also home to an archive of the work of William Etty and houses contemporary works on paper, with notable pieces by Edward Burra, John Piper and Julian Trevelyan.
YORAG holds an important collection of 20th-century studio pottery with more than 4,000 items, from the collections of Dean Milner–White, WA Ismay and Henry Rothschild, a long term loan of Anthony Shaw’s collection and recently augmented by the Patricia Barnes Gift via the Contemporary Art Society, 2020. The ceramics collection includes works by leading applied artists including Bernard Leach, Shoji Hamada, William Staite Murray, Michael Cardew, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper and Mick Casson and is now beautifully displayed after a major redevelopment in 2015.