In a city famous for its industrial and sea-faring heritage, Hull’s Ferens Art Gallery transports you into the world of high culture.
Housed in the same grand establishment in which it was opened in the 1920s, the Ferens has all the appearances of a lofty institution; with its light, airy exhibition space, high ceilings and wood floors. But the warm and friendly staff make the art inside accessible to anyone.
The Ferens prides itself on its collection of local art, spanning the story of Hull from medieval times, and Gallery 10 makes a good place to start if you’re not planning a circular route. Helpful signage brings this area to life describing the significant aspects of the painting for the uninitiated, as well as how it was obtained by the gallery.
Though the work relating to the local area will tell you the most about Hull, the Ferens contains an impressive array of international works from the European masters spanning from the medieval period to contemporary art. British artists of the Edwardian period are also well represented, with a particular attention to war art of the era.
The collection features everything from portraits to seascapes, in keeping with Hull’s maritime tradition, and works from big name artists such as Hockney and Canaletto. Fans may spot Peter Howson’s Mr. Great Heart, famous as the cover to local band The Beautiful South’s chart-topping album Quench.
As well as the permanent collections, a range of temporary exhibitions are hosted throughout the year. Most recently, the 60s were re-visited with a programme of art and sculpture including works by Andy Warhol. A celebrated display of drawings by Da Vinci also visited on loan from the Royal Collection. Accessibility is key to the appeal of the Ferens, and the gallery does a particularly good job of catering to children; providing a range of fun interactive activities in the Children’s Gallery. Six to 10-year-olds will love investigating the range of painting and sculpture as well as the materials that went into making them.
By the middle of the day you’re sure to have tired feet from walking the Feren’s halls, so make a point to stop at the gallery’s own La Loggia café. Serving a good selection of light meals all day, the terrace is good for a waterside lunch during the summer.
Price: Free entry
Opening Times: Monday – Friday: 10am to 4.30pm, Saturday: 10am to 4pm
Address: Ferens Art Gallery, Queen Victoria Square, Hull
Car Parking: Nearest is Princes Quay car park (paid for)
Attraction Website: www.hullcc.gov.uk/museums
Telephone: 01482 300 300
Sat Nav: HU1 3RA
For more information and deals on great days out see www.yorkshire.com.