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Leeds Inspired Blog

Special Collections

Special Collections
Written by The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds  23/11/2015
Greetings from The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery! We are a hidden gem at the heart of the University of Leeds campus with an exceptional art collection, dating from the 17th century up to the present day. We have everything from paintings, drawing, prints, to sculpture, ceramics and photographs. We are also lucky enough to have stunning examples of public art dotted around campus by renowned artists such as Simon Fujiwara and Quentin Bell.
Maurice de Sausmarez, Whitelocks, c.1954-5, oil on canvas 89.1 x 119.8 cm, University of Leeds Art Collection ©The Artist’s Estate
In addition to our permanent exhibition space, we offer innovative temporary shows such as our current Maurice de Sausmarez 1915 – 1969 retrospective and often display treasures from the University Library Special Collections . As we are a University Gallery, we love to work with students, and every year the MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies students take over our Education Space. This year the students curated two moving First World War themed exhibitions using original objects, manuscripts and artwork from the Liddle Collection. All our exhibitions are free and open to the public so please do pop in and take a look.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, First Flight, Courtesy: Corvi-Mora, London and Jack Shainman Gallery
We are very active in our collecting, and are always looking for gems to add to the University collection. Our most recent acquisition is a series of ten etchings, entitled First Flight, by Turner Prize 2013 nominee, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. If Lynette’s name sounds familiar it may be because she is also one of the stars of the British Art Show 8 – something we also happen to be involved in! In Parkinson Court, just outside the Gallery, you may have noticed a tall, red, cylindrical artwork, covered in white text. This striking piece, Lazzarato on Debt (2015), by artist Liam Gillick, is one of the results of the Day After Debt (UK) project led by Ahmet Öğüt, a conceptual artist. Öğüt asked the artists to design sculptures that function as public donation boxes, so it is fitting that Gillick's work is located right at the heart of the University. Indeed, viewers and visitors are encouraged to donate and all funds raised will be redistributed through the Jubilee Debt Campaign.
Liam Gillick, Lazzarato on Debt, 2015. Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London
 
If crafting, drawing and making are more your thing, you might be interested in our events programme. Many of our events are free and often fun for all the family so check out our events page for details of what festive frolics we’ve got lined up!
Image: Stanley And Audrey Burton Gallery workshop
There’s plenty for us to look forward to in 2016, not least the opening of the University Library’s Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery. Set to launch on 1st February, the free Gallery will be the new public face of Special Collections and will display highlights including Shakespeare’s First Folio, original Brontë archives, stunning medieval manuscripts and rare books from across the globe. We’re so excited and cannot wait to share our amazing collections with the wider public. Next year also looks set to be another big year for public art on campus as we continue our celebrations of the University’s public art heritage and hope to make future legacies. 
We want to prove that universities are not exclusively for students or academics; they can be places of culture, contemplation, inspiration, discovery and above all, accessible to everyone. 
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