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York Art Gallery reopens for Yorkshire Day

Gallery trials new way of opening following impact of COVID-19

York Art Gallery is inviting people to visit for free when it reopens its doors on August 1.

The charity York Museums Trust, which runs the gallery, hope that by removing admission charges there will be a higher number and increased diversity of visitors who will help support the gallery through donations and buying tickets for special exhibitions.

If successful, this new way of opening the gallery will allow the Trust to continue to offer free entry to its permanent collections, Centre of Ceramic Art and Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition throughout the year.

Initially the gallery will be free in support of the citywide Our Heroes Welcome Campaign.

From August 20, the permanent collections Centre of Ceramic Art and Aesthetica Art Prize will be free to all, while two new exhibitions, Views of York & Yorkshire and Your Art Gallery: Paintings Chosen By You will introduce a new paying concept of ‘pay as you feel’ with suggested amounts.

If the model proves financially viable there would be a set charge for larger special exhibitions in the future, similar to other galleries around the country.

Reyahn King, chief executive of York Museums Trust, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge financial impact on many different organisations, including museums and galleries. For York Museums Trust, who are so dependent on visitor admissions, it has meant we are having to look at new ways of working to engage with audiences and also remain financially viable.

“We know that having an admission charge at the Gallery was a barrier for many potential visitors. We hope that by removing the entry charge more people will be encouraged to come and see our wonderful collections and support us through donations and buying tickets to our special exhibitions at this incredibly challenging time. We need your support more than ever.”

From August 1 the gallery will be open 11am-4pm, five days a week from Wednesdays to Sundays. Visitors will need to book their free timed tickets online at www.yorkartgallery.org.uk where they can also find out about the new exhibitions and the changes we have made to ensure a safe and relaxing visit.

York Castle Museum will also open on August 1, offering a visitors a unique perspective on its famous displays and fantastic collections through a series of guided tours. To find out more about the tours and to book tickets visit www.yorkcastlemuseum.org.uk