Linescapes by Ian Mitchell
16 February until 3 June 2019

Ian Mitchell's work celebrates the British landscape, coast and countryside. His ideas come from walks during which he takes photographs and makes drawings, then he uses a computer to create the final digital drawings for his ‘Linescape’ prints.

Working in his studio on the North Yorkshire coast, he strips back his designs, simplifying the landscape down to lines and forms, using flat colour to capture the essence of a place.

In his most recent work he has been drawn to human-made, large-scale, modern infrastructure such as motorways, harbours and coastal defences, dams and reservoirs.

For more information please visit our Ian Mitchell: Yorkshire Linescapes page.

William Powell Frith: The People's Painter
15 June until 29 September 2019

This exhibition marks the bicentenary of the birth of William Powell Frith (1819 - 1909), whose great panoramas of Victorian life made him the most popular painter of his time. Born in Aldfield and raised in High Harrogate, he is the district's best-known and outstandingly successful artist.

Frith was an innovator who filled his ambitious pictures with a multitude of contemporary characters representing various levels of society, from the overcrowded beach at Ramsgate to the bustle of Paddington Station.

This exhibition investigates how Frith put together his paintings - including preparatory drawings and oil sketches, the way he employed models and the nature of his studio.

The exhibition will also explore Frith's popular success and demonstrate the importance of the mass production of large-scale engravings after his paintings. Such prints not only made the artist world-famous but also, as a retail coup, brought great wealth to his publishers. Frith's major paintings were so popular that the Royal Academy, exceptionally, had to protect them with a rail on six occasions, in one instance also employing a policeman to ward off the crowds. These works were toured around this country and overseas, drawing massive crowds who paid a shilling a time to see them, again making money for the entrepreneurs.

Paintings will be loaned to the exhibition from major British public collections. There are also many loans from private collections of works hitherto unseen in public. All of the Frith paintings and engravings acquired by the Mercer over the last 15 years will be on display.

There will be a catalogue for the exhibition with essays by specialist scholars, including the independent art historian Richard Green, who is co-curator of the exhibition with Jane Sellars.

For more information please visit our William Powell Frith, The People's Painter page.

The Harrogate Open
12 Oct 2019 until 12 Jan 2020

Staged every two years, the Harrogate Open is an exciting selection of new work from artists who live, work or have studied in the Harrogate district - this vibrant exhibition is a showcase for established artists and emerging talent, working in many different media.

Online enquiries form

Page last updated 14/02/2019