Fresher’s Week Special: Leeds University’s Hidden Gallery Treasures

In time for Fresher’s Week, Arts editor Stephanie Bennett explores the University’s own art attractions that are right here on campus.

Leeds is abundant with activities related to arts and culture, but there are two galleries within the Parkinson building that are free to enter and have amazing materials within them but are often unnoticed which is a tragedy that has to be rectified.

The Treasures of the Brotherton is a part of the gallery collection and showcases sections of Leeds Special collections in a permanent exhibition. The wide variety exhibited ranges from rare books and illuminated manuscripts from across the globe to original handwritten works by the Brontës, Elizabeth Gaskill and some amazing contemporary poets. Twice a year original exhibitions are showcased for a few months. Previous topics include the stereotypes and livelihood of travellers in: ‘Rights and Romance: Representing Gypsy Lives’ while at the minute there is an exhibition dedicated to the legacies of the First World War. An insurmountable amount of time and work goes into curating these exhibitions and they are a valuable resource to be exploited while at University in Leeds – especially because they are free.

An Arts Council Accredited museum, the Stanley and Audrey Burton gallery contains artwork, ceramics, prints, sculptures, miniatures and photographs from the 17th century onwards. Including both British and European work, the collection is an incredible partner to some of the other arts institutions around Leeds like the Henry Moore Institute. An insightful and unforgettable collection, it’s a valuable space to find some quiet in an aesthetic environment. The work within is exquisite and deserves to be recognised as such – especially by those who study courses like fine arts, cultural and museum studies and the history of art.

Stephanie Bennett

Image Courtesy of Redman Design