Art-lovers in Leeds can hang a masterpiece in their front room this week thanks to the return of Leeds Art Gallery’s innovative picture lending scheme.
The gallery’s Picture Library will be back this weekend, giving visitors the chance to display stunning artworks from the collection in their own home.
The first selection events for 2023 will run from January 19-22, with 140 artworks, more than ever before, available for visitors to choose from and borrow for up to an entire year.
This weekend’s event will also include new artworks which have never been loaned to the public before as well as recently-conserved pieces including Utagawa Kunisada’s Evening Reading Party and Jim Dine’s Wolfman.
Also available to loan will be artworks which became part of the gallery’s collection thanks to a generous bequest from John Hall, who left a number of stunning paintings to the gallery.
Jane Bhoyroo, principal keeper of Leeds Art Gallery, said: “It’s always a delight to see visitors appreciating the city’s art collection in the gallery, so it really is something very special when we’re able to give our audiences the opportunity to borrow a work they’ve been particularly drawn to or moved by to become part of their own home.
“The selection of artworks which make up the Picture Library is wonderfully varied, however, the common thread running throughout the whole collection is that the artist behind every piece wished to create something to inspire and engage. We can’t wait to see visitors exploring the collection in person and choosing their favourite artworks once again.”
The first ever Picture Library was started in 1961 and the scheme has remained hugely popular ever since.
Works available to borrow include oils, watercolours, drawings, photographs and a variety of prints. Loans are available to both individuals and businesses, with subscription charges varying. Further selection events will take place throughout the coming year.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “Leeds has a remarkable collection of world class artworks and exhibits and it is always our priority to share that incredible collection with the people of Leeds in engaging and innovative ways.
“As we celebrate our year of culture, it’s more important than ever that we set the city’s culture loose and give people opportunities to experience the arts in their own way. Giving visitors the chance to have part of the collection in their own home is the perfect way to bring art to the heart of our communities.”
To find out more about the Picture Library please visit: www.thepicturelibrary.org