York Art Gallery is a public art gallery in York city centre with a collection of paintings from the 14th century to the present day. It also exhibits the most extensive and representative collection of British Studio Ceramics in the country. The Grade II listed building was originally built for the second Yorkshire Fine Art and Industrial Exhibition in 1879. In 1892 it became the new City Art Gallery.
Due to the high natural light levels the large Victorian exhibition hall it was not well suited to the exhibition of paintings. As a result the main exhibition hall was divided with a suspended ceiling in the 1950s. For over 60 years the roof space with its decorative trusses, large roof lights and ornate plasterwork was concealed from public view and used only for mechanical services. It has been a long held ambition of the York Museum Trust to reconfigure the gallery and reveal this secret roof space to the public once again. In 2010 Simpson & Brown, in collaboration with Ushida Findlay Architects, won a design competition with an ambitious proposal to create a new ‘Secret Gallery’ in the roof space, a ceramic clad roof top gallery and a new garden entrance and balcony.
The new £8million project opened to the public in August 2015.
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