The Top 10 Art Galleries in Leeds

· Kirsty Allen · Culture

If you’re looking for art in Leeds, these are the galleries to visit.

Leeds Art Gallery

Looking for the best exhibitions Leeds? You’ll need to visit these 10 art spaces, all home to an eclectic array of incredible works.

Leeds has a thriving art scene, boasting a whole host of galleries for you to explore, but which ones should top your list? You can marvel at masterpieces by Turner, contemporary works by Damien Hirst and world-class sculptures by Yorkshire’s own Henry Moore – and that’s just a glimpse of what’s on offer. Take a look and craft your own art-packed tour of the city.

1. Henry Moore Institute

Henry Moore Institute

Credit: Jerry Hardman Jones

The Henry Moore Institute is one of the largest and most important sculpture galleries in Europe, let alone Leeds. Boasting three galleries, it’s home to a vast array of both historical and contemporary works, often exhibiting world-renowned artists such as Jean Tinguely, Jiro Takamatsu, Roy Ascott and Gego, as well as Moore’s own sculptures. Dedicated to the study of sculpture, complete with an extensive research library and archive of sculptors papers, its a must-visit for both art academics and lovers alike.

Henry Moore Institute, 74 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AH.

2. Leeds Art Gallery

Leeds Art Gallery

The stunning Leeds Art Gallery is home to a truly impressive collection of art, including one of the biggest collections of 20th-century British art in the UK. It all begins with Lothar Götz’s wall mural ‘Xanadu’, beautifully linking the lower and upper galleries. Head to the lower for striking pieces by the likes of Damien Hirst and work from celebrated artists such as Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, before visiting the upper galleries to discover contemporary works and their rotating exhibitions.

Leeds Art Gallery, The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AA.

3. The Tetley

Simeon Barclay

Credit: Simeon Barclay

Fancy a Leeds art space with a difference? Head to The Tetley. Housed in the former brewery’s HQ, you’ll now find three floors of contemporary art within a striking art deco building, where they host an eclectic programme of exhibitions and immersive installations from the next generation of artists. Over the years, they’ve featured the likes of Jonathan Trayte, Joseph Buckley and Dora García, and they regularly host special events and workshops. After you’ve looked around, be sure to check out the bar and restaurant.

The Tetley, Hunslet Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1JQ.

4. Harewood House

Harewood House

Credit: Harewood House Trust and Jonty Hall

The grandiose Harewood House is an 18th-century country home that’s full of art, making it one of Leeds’ must-visit galleries. Watercolours lie at the heart of their extensive collection – expect paintings by the likes of Turner, Thomas Girtin and John Varley. You can explore temporary exhibitions from modern artists, as well as works by masters of the Italian renaissance. Your entry ticket also allows you to roam the stunning gardens, which sprawl over 100 acres and often play host to exhibitions.

Harewood House, Sandy Gate, Harewood, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS17 9LG.

5. Leeds Arts University

Leeds Arts University, Blenheim Walk Gallery

Credit: Memory Potifa

Leeds Arts University is home to two brilliant galleries, playing host to over 20 contemporary art exhibitions each year. In addition to showcasing work from the university’s students and staff, they also display pieces from a range of internationally-acclaimed cultural figures – in the past, the work of Yoko Ono, Ilana Halperin and Mieke Bal have all been displayed here. The result? You get the chance to check out new and up-and-coming artists alongside more esteemed names. It’s a winning combination.

Leeds Arts University, Blenheim Walk, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 9AQ and Vernon Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8PH.

6. Sunny Bank Mills

Sunny Bank Mills

Credit: Richard Moran Photography

Once a key part of Leeds’ industrial past, Sunny Bank Mills is now a multi-purpose cultural destination, centred around a 3,000-square-foot art gallery. Showcasing the work of artists from Yorkshire and beyond, it’s one of the best galleries in Leeds in which to discover emerging local artists and an eclectic programme of art exhibitions. Community is at the core of Sunny Bank Mills – artists are encouraged to drop into Spinning Mill Studios to make use of the facilities and work alongside other creative minds.

Sunny Bank Mills, 83-85 Town Street, Farsley, Pudsey, West Yorkshire, LS28 5UJ.

7. The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery

The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery

Credit: The Stanley & Audrey Burton

The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery at the University of Leeds isn’t just for students. It’s also home to the University Art Collection, which showcases stunning examples of British and European paintings, drawings and prints from the 17th century through to the present day. There’s also plenty of ceramics, photographs and structures to peruse. Once you’ve admired the art indoors, why not continue onto the university’s Public Art Trail? There are a series of interesting installations dotted around the Leeds Uni campus.

The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, Parkinson Building, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 9JT.

8. Left Bank Leeds

Michael Shaw Exhibition, Left Bank

Credit: Hamish Irvine

The quirky Left Bank Leeds is one of the city’s most unusual art spaces. Set inside the former St Margaret’s Anglican Church, the stunning Grade II-listed building was transformed into a progressive community space back in 2002. With exhibitions running on a regular basis, there’s plenty of opportunity for you to check out the work of artists from Leeds and beyond. On top of this, there’s a jam-packed calendar of cultural events, arty workshops, and much more, with plenty on offer for all the family.

Left Bank Leeds, Cardigan Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1LJ.

9. Assembly House

Assembly House

Assembly House is an artist-led gallery and studios situated in a converted Victorian textile mill by the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. It’s one of the most community-focused art spaces in the city, offering local creatives the chance to team up on collaborative projects. It’s also home to a 49-strong team of creatives, made up of painters, sculptors, illustrators and more. These resident artists run the gallery’s exhibition programme, curating a bold line-up that celebrates their own work as well as that of UK-wide artists.

Assembly House, 44 Canal Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 2PL.

10. Screw Gallery

screw gallery

Credit: Screw Gallery

Screw Gallery is a not-for-profit, artist-led gallery and exhibition space down on Vicar Lane. The focus here is on international contemporary art, and things tend to get pretty edgy. With an all-black facade and large arched windows, the gallery provides a stark environment where bold, adventurous art can speak for itself. Run in conjunction with East Street Arts, Screw Gallery offers an open and welcoming space in which local and national contemporary artists can realise their ideas.

Screw Gallery, 130 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7NL.

Cover Image Credit: Jerry Hardman Jones