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News release - Issued by York Museums Trust

“Probably one of the best museums I have been to”

A look at some of the reviews, research and reports on the new look York Art Gallery

“A must visit”, “breath-taking art” and a “fabulous redevelopment” are some of the reviews of York Art Gallery since it reopened in the summer.

The New York Times, The Guardian, The Sunday Mirror and Radio Four’s Saturday Review were among the media who commented positively on the £8 million development.

The Museums Journal review claimed it was “probably one of the best museums I’ve been to” while The Times said: “You’d be daft as a brush not to visit this Yorkshire Gallery.”

The recent report from the Visit England Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme said the gallery was “exceptional” and in customer research 99% of visitors said they were Very Satisfied or Satisfied with their visit. 100% said they would recommend York Art Gallery to others.

Lorna Sergeant, manager of York Art Gallery, said: “Since we reopened we have been delighted by the vast majority of the feedback by those visiting the gallery – be it journalists, formal evaluations or the general public. It is fantastic to have the backing of publications such as the New York Times and Art Newspaper, but it is just as important to see that we are meeting the expectations of our visitors too.

“We are very pleased that the Visit England report said the gallery “far exceeded expectations” and that our “very engaging and knowledgeable” staff and volunteers gave a “warm welcome””.

Below are quotes from some of the reviews of the gallery.

“The gallery is making no bones about wanting to be seen as one of the best regional galleries in the UK.” The Guardian

“This is probably one of the best museums I’ve been to.” Museums Journal

“…Fine collections that make [York Art Gallery] a must visit” Sunday Mirror

“You’d be daft as a brush not to visit this Yorkshire gallery” The Times

“What can you get for £8 million? A hell of a lot if York Art Gallery’s fabulous redevelopment is anything to go by.” The Times

“Yorkshire charm…breath-taking art.” Culture 24

“You need only visit the newly renovated York Art Gallery to realise the level of quality of the collections would not be out of place in London.” Culture 24

The development reveals the “Victorian-era building’s magnificent vaulted roof and the quality of its collections, which ranges from Italian Old Masters to British Studio Ceramics.” Art Newspaper

“The revamp of York Art Gallery is the crowning achievement of the outgoing chief executive of York Museums Trust, Janet Barnes”. Art Newspaper

“It’s a heart-warming achievement…The whole place is suffused with gently creative energy, old art stimulating new art… The example of York shows how much art museums have to offer.” Country Life


“The centre illustrates the eclecticism of studio pottery, and how the character of each maker is expressed in his or her work.” New York Times

“CoCA is an imaginative response to the series of outstanding bequests that have together made York the most significant centre for British studio ceramics in the country.” Crafts Magazine

“The Centre for Ceramic Art is fantastic – it’s beautiful…” Ekow Eshun, Saturday Review, BBC Radio Four

“If you compare it to, for example, the ceramics rooms at the V&A, you see how successful York really is.” Bidisha, Saturday Review, BBC Radio Four

“The Centre of Ceramic Art at York Art Gallery has, even before opening, been talked of as ground-breaking in the world of ceramics.” Ceramic Review

“As you walk into the mezzanine space at York Art Gallery you don’t know where to look first. Above is the beautiful Victorian roof space which has been hidden by a glass ceiling for more than 50 years. Around you are some of the most significant works by the most famous names in the world of British Studio Ceramics. And then there is Clare Twomey’s especially commissioned installation – 10,000 identical slip-cast bowls towering above in a precarious manner.” Craft & Design Magazine.

Clare Twomey’s 10,000 Hours

“A striking and eloquent demonstration of the challenge to institutions of collecting something as fragile as pottery.” New York Times

Visit England comments

“The first impressions as the visitor entered the Art Gallery - the expanse and the light - was exceptional and unexpected.”

“The knowledgeable staff that engaged confidently with ease.”

“The variety of content which far exceeded expectations”

Customer Research

The research is the result of more than 400 surveys carried out by an external agency in the summer and autumn at the gallery.

Trip Advisor Comments

“From modern to renaissance; something for everyone. Impressive.”

“…Overall fabulous. Very friendly and helpful staff.

“Stunning Restoration & Art”

“Exceptional family friendly museum”

Nearly 8,000 people have now bought the YMT Card, which allows 12 months access to the gallery, Yorkshire Museum and York Castle Museum. Of these the majority have been bought by visitors to the gallery.

The gallery reopened on August 1 with 60 per cent more exhibition space and exhibitions featuring Italian Old Masters, JMW Turner, Pablo Picasso, Stanley Spencer, David Hockney and Sarah Lucas. It also includes three rarely seen LS Lowry paintings of York and a new commission by Susie MacMurray. The Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) displays highlights from the gallery’s collections of British Studio Ceramics which is one of the most significant in the country. Highlights include works by Grayson Perry, Hans Coper and Lucie Rie as well as a large scale commission by Clare Twomey, entitled 10,000 Hours.


For further press information contact Lee Clark, Communications Manager, York Museums Trust, telephone 01904 687673 or e-mail

For more information, go to or telephone 01904 687687.