The Hepworth’s Gott Collect celebrates the artistic inspiration of Yorkshire

PUBLISHED: 14:22 06 October 2014 | UPDATED: 14:22 06 October 2014

The West End of York Minster

The West End of York Minster


Discover how Yorkshire has long been a place of artistic inspiration with the Gott Collect at The Hepworth, Wakefield

A new exhibition at The Hepworth Wakefield celebrates an important five-year digitisation project of the Gott Collection, a parcel of 1,200 images including watercolours, drawings and topographical prints which document over 200 Yorkshire villages, towns and cities. The public are now able to explore the entire collection online by theme, by artist or by place and discover images connected to Captain Cook or curious images of gargoyles and political cartoons or search by postcode to find images of nearby landmarks.

This rarely seen collection is considered an important regional and national resource because many of the buildings, architectural remains and landscapes represented by the images no longer exist. The collection was assembled in the 19th century by John Gott (1830 – 1906), Vicar of Leeds and later Bishop of Truro, and his father William (1797 – 1863), a wool merchant. It was presented to Wakefield Art Gallery in 1930 by Frank Green, a Yorkshire industrialist and philanthropist who lived at Treasurer’s House in York, which was left to National Trust. The artists represented include John uckler (1770-1851) and his son John Chessell Buckler (1793-1894) with their architectural depictions of the abbeys, cathedrals and grand houses of Yorkshire; accurate drawings of architectural features by Joseph Halfpenny (1748-1811); engravings by brothers Samuel (1696-1779) and Nathaniel (fl. 1724-1759) Buck and prints by JMW Turner (1775-1851), who first visited Yorkshire in 1797 and returned throughout his life to paint views of over 70 different landscapes and landmarks.

Ecclesiastical buildings of Yorkshire feature strongly, including the cathedrals of Beverley and Ripon, the ruins of Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire and the gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey. Also included in the Gott Collection is a series of watercolours of churches, primarily in York, but also includes depictions of churches in Harrogate and Batley. A number of these were done by Thomas Beckwith (1731-1786) who was born in Rothwell, near Leeds, and later settled in York where he had a business painting churches and houses.

Drawings and engravings of Wakefield’s Chantry Chapel by artists including John Coney (1786-1833) and George Flemingare also feature, and show various views of the medieval bridge and chapel.

Kirkstall Abbey, LeedsKirkstall Abbey, Leeds

Other themes within the Gott Collection include castles, of which there are many drawings and engravings of Conisborough Castle, Scarborough and Knaresborough Castle as well as fine pencil drawings of Skipton Castle; prospects of cities and towns of Yorkshire which include Leeds, Rotherham, Hull and York. Castle Howard is a prominent subject as one of the great and grand houses of Yorkshire.

Find out more about the Gott Collection online at

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