Thomas Robinson Ferens was a British politician serving as MP for Hull East for thirteen years. He was also a generous philanthropist, making several charitable donations during his life. One hundred years ago this month, he kindly gifted Hull the land and money to build what has become one of the finest regional art galleries in the UK.
To celebrate this during 2017, the Ferens Art Gallery has undergone a £5 million refurbishment and makeover. Having reopened its doors after fifteen months of closure, visitors can now enjoy the permanent collection and visiting exhibitions in a beautifully restored setting. Catch a glimpse of paintings, sculptures, portraits and other art works dating from medieval times to the present day. And as with all of the museums owned by Hull City Council, admission to the Ferens is completely free.
We've rounded up some of the must-see exhibitions that will take place at the gallery this season. With Hull Trains providing regular and reliable services between the capital and the UK City of Culture, there's no reason to miss out when it comes to art, theatre and music.
Pietro Lorenzetti: Siena to Hull, A Masterpiece Revealed
13 January “ 23 April
Unveiled for the first time following its acquisition in 2013, Christ Between Saints Paul and Peter by Pietro Lorenzetti is a beautiful sight to behold.
Lorenzetti was an Italian painter from the 1300s and his work consists of three-dimensional naturalism and experimental arrangements. The fourteenth-century panel has undergone extensive conservation treatment at the National Gallery in London whilst the Ferens was having its own makeover.
It is surrounded by other pieces from the same time period, giving a glimpse into an artistic movement that revolved around spiritualism and loved its gold embellishment.
13 January “ 12 March
2017 is an important year for Hull as it takes centre stage as the UK City of Culture. Coinciding with this, the Open Exhibition at the Ferens turns fifty years old.
Since 1967, the gallery has showcased the creativity and talent of local amateur and professional artists during an annual exhibition. This year is no exception, with fantastic work selected by a panel of experts, namely Gabriele Finaldi, the Director of the National Gallery, Hull-born actress Maureen Lipman, and famous sculptor and Royal Academician David Mach.
The Open Exhibition presents a huge range of styles and formats, from a large aerial view painting of Beverley, to a glimmering mosaic sculpture of a horse.
Francis Bacon: Nervous System
21 January “ 1 May
Francis Bacon was an Irish-born figurative painter, famous for his bold, grotesque and emotionally-charged imagery, which he created during the mid to late twentieth-century. Five of his notorious Screaming Popes join Ferens' permanent collection this January.
Visitors will be able to admire one of Bacon's most celebrated masterpieces, Head VI, which he painted in 1949. The image is a reinterpretation of the classic Portrait of Pope Innocent X by VelÃ¡zquez, a renowned 17th-century artist.
You can find the Ferens Art Gallery in Queen Victoria Square, just a few mnutes' walk from Paragon Interchange. This is also the location of Blade, a 75-metre Siemens wind turbine blade that cuts through the square until 18 March.
Book your trip to Hull today."