Introduction to the new Footsteps into Art blog

Welcome to the Footsteps into Art Blog.


Here you can discover the different perspectives from all the people involved in this exciting new education project at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery. The project is working with up to six schools within walking distance of the University of Leeds over three years. Each year up to sixty children from each school will come to the Gallery at least three times for a range of creative art workshops all inspired by the University’s Art Collection. We will also be working with various community groups connected to the schools. This year we have been looking at drawing, sculpture and printmaking.

Follow the project’s development through the voices of the children, workshop leaders, teachers, student volunteers, Gallery Assistants and more over the coming three years. Enjoy and feel free to post your responses!

Introducing Treasures Events – taster of what’s to come

Learning & Engagement Officer, Laura, introduces the exciting programme of events at the new Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery.


One of the best things about the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery being open has been welcoming visitors to our special events and activities. There’s lots coming up in the next few months, you can find more information and booking details on the events page of the website.

If you’re looking for arty activities why not try paper marbling in April or linocut printing in July? Participants at both workshops can take inspiration from historic collections and create their own new works. The creative writing workshop in May will consider themes explored in the exhibition ‘On Conscientious Grounds: Objection and Resistance in the First World War’. Visit us on the evening 13 May for Museums at Night for a gallery visit with a difference.

Our series of lunchtime talks continues, covering a wide range of subjects. On 18 March Dr Alex Bamji talks about ‘Visiting Venice; From Pilgrims to Pleasure-Seekers’, poet Helen Mort discusses the poetry of Ken Smith and her response on 28 April and on 12 May Sabine Grimshaw will talk about ‘The Experience of Resistance: Conscientious Objection in the First World War’. All lunchtime talks are from 1-2pm. Other literary events include an afternoon conference about Evelyn Waugh on 23 March and on the evening of 20 April you can join Professor Martin Butler for his talk about ‘China in the Culture of Shakespeare’s England’.

On 19 March researchers share how they use historic medical books and archives from Special Collections. Drop in to the gallery between 10am and 4pm to find out how illustrations for 16th century textbooks were made and discover William Hey, an important figure in 18th century Leeds. This event is part of the University ‘Be Curious Festival’ where lots of exciting activities are taking place in Parkinson Court and across campus.

Don’t forget that you can drop into the gallery every Tuesday between 1.15 and 1.45pm to see our mystery ‘Tuesday Treasure’ up close and find out more about the collection. So far visitors have seen a 17th century travelling library, books printed by William Morris, fascinating documents from the politics archive and notebooks showing the creative process of poet Tony Harrison. There are lots more stories to tell – what will you discover during your visit?

New accessions – February 2016

From poetry to music, our new accessions have a distinctly creative theme this month

Alberta Vickridge (1890-1963) was a poet and editor of poetry magazines.  In 1927 she launched a literary magazine called ‘Le Jongleur’ from her home in Frizinghall.  Vickridge had a printing press installed in the attic and mastered the craft of printing single-handedly.  The launch was extremely successful.  Vickridge writes of the Spring 1927 number ‘we wish we had been bolder and done double the edition’.

We have acquired 3 letters which Vickridge wrote to Vernon Noble, a would-be contributor to ‘Le Jongleur’ in 1927.  In them she suggests revisions to Noble’s poem ‘Pan’s Plaints’.  At one point she writes in some frustration ‘Can’t you understand a thing may be fundamentally good, and yet not publishable because it lacks form?’  Noble obviously edited the poem sufficiently, as it was published in the Winter 1927 edition.  The letters are an addition to our Vickridge Collection which includes her poems and material relating to ‘The Wayfarer’, the magazine she edited from 1916-1927.

The artist Joash Woodrow (1927-2006) was born in Leeds, studied at Leeds College of Art, and lived in the city most of his life. Woodrow led a reclusive existence, drawing and painting on whatever materials lay to hand. His work only became known to the art world in the last years of his life. There are examples of his work in the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery.   We now have an edition of ‘Chaucer’s The Maunciple’s Tale‘, with a frontispiece, head- and tailpieces by Woodrow, published in 1948 at Leeds College of Technology.

The Gallipoli campaign of 1915 was one of Britain’s worst military disasters. In ‘Gallipoli: the Dardanelles Disaster in Soldiers’ Words and Photographs‘, Richard Van Emden and Stephen Chambers skilfully marshal the recollections of the surviving participants into a narrative to bring home the horrors of this doomed enterprise.

On the outbreak of World War II, Germans living in Britain were rounded up and interned as enemy aliens. No distinctions were made; Churchill’s order was “Collar the lot”. Many Jewish people who had come to Britain as refugees from Nazi persecution found themselves behind bars. Among them was the Austrian composer Hans Gal (1890-1987), who was ultimately interned on the Isle of Man. Gal continued to compose music including a satirical revue performed at the Isle of Man camp. His diary of these experiences ‘Music Behind Barbed Wire: a Diary of Summer 1940‘ has now been published.