Northern Spirit : Laing Art Gallery

The Laing Art Gallery is located in Newcastle-upon-Tyne City Centre.   It was founded in 1901 after a local businessman provided the funds to build the gallery.  Currently the gallery hosts British oil paintings, watercolours, ceramics, silver and glassware. [1]

The permanent Nothern Spirit exhibition is located on the ground floor to the left of the reception area.  The display contains locally produced artwork and objects, which include silver, ceramics and glass.

The glass on display is mainly in the first section of Northern Spirit.  Glass by the Sowerby and Davidson glassworks is prominent, as well as a case dedicated to Beilby glass and silver.  Further into the exhibition are examples of etched commemorative glassware.

As you enter the exhbition space there is a touch screen console near the wall to the right.  This provides further information about the creators of the art pieces and also more details about the individual pieces on display.  It is worthwhile using the console as the gallery has only brief descriptions next to the exhibits.

The first cabinet you see as you enter the exhibition contains items produced at the Sowerby Art Glass Studio, dating from around 1870 – 1888.

To the left is the cabinet containing the Beilby glass and silver, whilst to the right are two cabinets containing 19th and 20th century pressed glass, from both Sowerby Glassworks and Davidson & Co..

The glass included in the displays are examples of work that are not frequently seen, such as the amber stained glass dish above, or the Davidson ‘Cloud’ glass vase with painted decoration around the rim and base.

The Laing Art Gallery is well worth visiting, not only to see the glass but the other amazing collections that it contains.  It is free entry with a suggested donation.  It is situated in the center of Newcastle opposite the City Library and is only a short walk from bus, train and metro services.



  1. About the Laing Art Gallery

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