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Major art loan from Marks and Spencer

Galleries celebrate return to full opening hours with Monet, Lowry and more in The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery.

Marks and Spencer, the well-known retailer that was founded in the city’s Kirkgate Market in 1884, has made a loan of five major artworks for the benefit of the people of its home city, Leeds. The five artworks now on public display are by world famous artists Claude Monet, LS Lowry, JMW Turner, Maurice de Vlaminck and Edward Seago.

These prestigious artworks, some of which have never been on public display, are now exhibited in The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, which, along with the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery, is back to its full opening hours for the first time in 22 months. Both galleries are in the Parkinson Building and are free and open to all.

University of Leeds Art Curator Layla Bloom said:

“We’re delighted that Marks and Spencer has shared these formidable treasures with us. This loan helps us to expand the story of 20th century British Art on display through our collection at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, whilst also making links to the fascinating history of Marks & Spencer, a British institution born here in Leeds. Each work contributes in a different way to our Gallery displays and will provide new opportunities for our audience – especially for young people – to engage with and enjoy art on campus.”

The artworks include:

  • Market Stalls, painted by LS Lowry in 1961.
    We believe this painting was commissioned to celebrate the opening of the Marks and Spencer store in Manchester.
  • The Pantheon, the Morning after the Fire, by Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1792.
    This sketch has never been displayed before. It depicts the ruined opera house following a suspected arson attack, which was later given a new lease of life when M&S opened a new store on the site in 1938.
  • Automne à Jeufosse, by Claude Monet, c1884.
    Available to see for the first time since 1963, the ‘father’ of Impressionism shows his fascination with changing light, colours, seasons and weather in this depiction of Jeufosse, near his home in Givenchy.

Marks & Spencer has a strong link with Leeds, with founder Michael Marks setting up his first penny bazaar in Leeds in 1884, before joining forces with Tom Spencer in 1894. The relationship has continued with the M&S Company Archive establishing their home on the University of Leeds campus in 2012. The award-winning M&S Company Archive enables Marks & Spencer to celebrate and utilise its rich heritage for the good of the business, its customers and the wider community.

M&S Company Archivist Katharine Carter said:

“As a business, Marks & Spencer is committed to sharing our own heritage through the work of our Company Archive, so it’s very fitting that these wonderful art treasures are now available for people to view and enjoy here in Leeds. They are fantastic pieces and we’re delighted that our partnership with the University of Leeds enables them to be experienced by the wider audience that they deserve.”

View the five artworks, as well as pieces from the University of Leeds’s own Art Collection at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery.