Archive and Special Collections | Blog

A gathering of spectators

We have recently acquired the archive of Leeds Met Gallery and Studio Theatre, which is very exciting.

With the closure of H Block at Civic Quarter, part of the original Central Colleges and Polytechnic site, the traditional venues no longer exist and the Gallery and Studio Theatre are working on plans for off-site projects.  The archive generally covers the period from the refurbishment of Leeds Polytechnic Gallery in 1990 and the establishment of the then named Leeds Polytechnic Gallery and Studio Theatre through to the present day.  The archives  not only provide a record of the varied and vibrant works performed and shown but also the inner workings of a well-respected arts venue.  Records from the period before 1990 are not part of this collection, but investigations are continuing to see if any have survived.

In the past the Gallery and Theatre have supplied a venue for many emerging and more established artists, performers and practitioners.  Which, in a very small way, at one time included me! As a young painter I had two paintings accepted for the New Art in Yorkshire Show in 1987, one of the venues was the then Leeds Polytechnic Gallery. looking over the show catalogue I notice other artists exhibiting were Damien Hirst, then a student at Leeds and Willy Tirr, who was once Head of Fine Art at Leeds Polytechnic.

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Dr Keith Rowntree

Keith Rowntree maintains the University's Archive and Special Collections which are currently held at the University’s Library, situated on our Headingley Campus. We collect, describe and preserve material for future generations while seeking to promote knowledge of, and access to this rich heritage for educational, professional and research purposes.

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