Shipley Art Gallery

Earlier this month I paid a visit to the Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead.  The gallery is wheelchair accessible with a ramped entrance to the left of the building.  More able-bodied visitors can use the steps at the front and access the gallery through the double doors.  Once inside the gallery is on one-level, with no steps, and plenty of room to maneuvoure.

The gallery was first opened in 1917.  In addition to paintings, the collections also include ceramics, wood, metal, glass, textiles and furniture, which the gallery has built up over the last 25 years.  Shipley Art Gallery is also home to The Henry Rothschild collection of studio ceramics. [1]

As you enter the building The Henry Rothschild collection is to the right of the entrance foyer.  Walking straight on will place you in the main central gallery.  At the time of my visit this was being prepared for a new exhibit.

There are two permanent galleries to either side of the main central area.  On the right there are the two craft and design galleries.  On the left, the first gallery houses exhibits from Saltwell Towers in Saltwell Park, whilst the second gallery has been primarily utilised to provide activities and learning opportunities for children.

The gallery’s website states that they have the UK’s most comprehensive collection of Sowerby’s and Davidson’s glassware. [2]  There are several pieces of this glassware on display at various points throughout the exhibits, as well as more contemporary pieces.

I found the gallery to be compact, clean and well cared for.  The member of staff on duty was very helpful, taking the time to explain the layout of the gallery and gave a brief verbal description of the contents.

The gallery is located on Prince Consort Road, NE8 4JB.  It is a 25 minutes walk from the Gateshead Interchange and is close to the number 21 angel bus route, which runs from Durham through to Newcastle.  The closest bus stop to the gallery is on Durham Road.


[1] Shipley Art Gallery : About The Shipley

[2] Shipley Art Gallery : Our Collections

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