York Museums Trust was formed on August 1 2002, as an independent charitable trust to manage the museums and gallery service previously run by City of York Council.
Supported by the Council, York Museums Trust is responsible for York Art Gallery, York Castle Museum, Yorkshire Museum and Gardens and York St Mary’s. Please click on the links to find out more about Our Mission and to read our Annual Reports.
Built in 1879 as the venue for the second Yorkshire Fine Art and Industrial Exhibition, the building was purchased by the local authority and re-opened as York Art Gallery in 1892. Since that time, the gallery has developed an outstanding collection of paintings that range from 14th century Western European examples through to 20th century British work. Following a major redevelopment project, the gallery reopened in 2015 with a new Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) to showcase its important collection of British Studio Ceramics.
The York Castle Museum was founded by Dr John Kirk, a doctor from Pickering, North Yorkshire, and houses his extraordinary collection of social history objects reflecting everyday life in the county. One of its renowned displays is the reconstructed Victorian street, Kirkgate, that has been hugely influential in museum displays worldwide. The museum is housed in a former debtors’ prison and an adjoining former women’s prison, both of which are Grade I listed. The museum’s name comes from the fact it stands on the site of the former York Castle.
Yorkshire Museum and the Museum Gardens
The Yorkshire Museum is set in ten acres of botanical gardens, both of which were founded in the 1830s by the Yorkshire Philosophical Society. The museum currently houses a number of archaeological, geological and natural history artefacts from our extensive collections. Within the Museum Gardens are the ruins of the 13th century St Mary’s Abbey, a medieval Hospitium and guest lodge, and a 19th century Observatory.
York St Mary’s is a deconsecrated medieval parish church on Castlegate, close to the Coppergate Centre and the Jorvik Viking Centre. The bulk of the building dates to the early 13th century, with 14th and 15th century modifications and alterations. York Museums Trust have transformed this hallowed space into a unique venue for experiencing cutting edge contemporary art.
- York Museums Trust’s #CuratorBattle shortlisted in the ‘Being Social’ category at this years’ Digital Culture Awards
- Staff health and wellbeing shown to be at the heart of York Museums Trust. All staff to benefit from a week’s holiday in early January and encouraged to rest and recuperate
- York Museums Trust partner with award-winning House of Memories to launch new app to help those living with dementia
- York Art Gallery selected as finalists for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year at the Visit York Awards 2022
- York Museums Trust invites York’s Hull Road residents to delve into the past in new community research project