Studio of John Freeman
Whitby’s cobbled streets and quaint fishing cottages have provided inspiration for artists over the centuries, including Frank Meadow Sutcliffe and John Freeman. The town’s thriving art scene is on display in its galleries, many of which are centrally located.
The Whitby Galleries, located on Church Street just a stone’s throw from the famous 199 Steps, is the collective name for the Penny Hedge Gallery and The Hermitage. The original art collection is housed in the former while the latter is home to a modern collection of prints.
Around 20 artists regularly supply the Penny Hedge Gallery with originals that often portray scenes and locations from around the town. The Hermitage’s Print Bar gives art enthusiasts the chance to customise their print by mixing and matching prints and frames.
Located in the same building as The Whitby Museum, the Pannett Art Gallery is home to the Weatherill and Staithes Collections, two permanent art collections showcasing some of Whitby’s best talent.
The Weatherill Collection focuses on the art of George Weatherill and his four children: Mary, Sarah, Elizabeth and Richard. As George taught his family art, the siblings have a very similar art style that can be observed in their paintings of late Victorian and Edwardian Whitby.
Focusing on a group of local artists, the Staithes Collection highlights the work of British Impressionists who painted collectively the Yorkshire Coast between 1894-1920. Many of the Staithes Group moved to the area after the development of the local railway opened up the seaside location. Most of the paintings on display in the gallery show rural and domestic life as well as the area’s maritime culture.
Flowergate’s Art Cafe is the place to go to enjoy art and refreshments. The licensed cafe serves a menu of soups, sandwiches and homemade cakes as well as continental beers and wines. When it comes to art, the gallery adds new pieces to its collection every six to eight weeks Accepting works by local and national artists, the gallery regularly holds exhibitions that feature a range of techniques and media.
Just a few doors up from the Art Cafe, The Reading Room Gallery displays Collagraphs, watercolours and photography from local artists. Visitors will also find handcrafted silver and copper jewellery as well as seasonal craft pieces.