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Spotlight On: Ferens Art Gallery

15 December 2018 | Katie Da Cunha Lewin

The port city of Hull is not one of England's largest, and yet its City Council Museums boast an astonishing nine different venues. Best known for the Maritime and Streetlife Museums, Hull is also home to the Ferens Art Gallery, which has an impressive collection of European masters and contemporary work.

The museum sits in the picturesque Queen Victoria Square, right in the city centre. Opened in 1927, it has 12 galleries displaying work that spans several hundred years. The plot on which the museum stands was originally bought in 1917 by politician and industrialist, Thomas Robinson Ferens, and the gallery was established when Ferens donated the land and some money to the council, with the instruction to establish an art gallery there. The building has been restored twice: once in 1991 when it was given additional wings, and then in 2015 so that it could host the 2017 Turner Prize.

Image Credit: Reading Tom via Flickr
 
The artwork ranges from Renaissance to Modern and Contemporary, so you can view a real variety of pieces in one visit. The gallery also has some very well-known paintings in their collection: Frans Hals’ Portrait of a Young Woman (1660s), for example, is a beautiful example of Golden Age Dutch portraiture; in the Renaissance room, the gallery displays one of their most recent acquisitions Christ Between Saints Paul and Peter by Pietro Lorenzetti. Painted in around 1320, this is the oldest item in the gallery’s collection and particularly noteworthy for its realism and detail, which was very unusual for that period.

Image Credit: Simon K via Flickr 
 
Gallery 10 is the ‘Children’s Gallery Explore Art’ which gives kids the freedom to interact with exhibits and to learn more about how paintings are made. Designed for children from 0-5, the gallery particularly thinks about line, shape, texture and colour in order to explore all the different aspects of painterly technique. There are also some works on display by artists such as Roger Hilton and Eduardo Paolozzi toinspire young minds. The gallery also hosts their Junior Open Exhibition for youngsters under 15. Budding artists can submit their work in their age bracket to get their work displayed in a special exhibition and to win prizes.

Image Credit: Ferens Art Gallery via Twitter
 
Currently, the museum also hosts two temporary exhibitions alongside their permanent collection: one recent exhibition showed Cezanne’s Card-Players (1892-6) as part of a larger exhibit celebrating rural life.

Ferens Art Gallery is free; find it in Queen Victoria Square, Carr Lane, Hull, HU1 3RA
 

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