The Gott Collection


An important attraction for visitors is the rarely seen Gott Collection, gifted to the City’s art collection in 1930.

The Gott Collection was assembled in the 19th Century by John Gott (1830-1906), Vicar of Leeds and later Bishop of Truro, and his father William (1797-1863), a wool merchant. It was presented to Wakefield Art Gallery in 1930 by Frank Green, a Yorkshire industrialist and philanthropist. The bound 10-volume collection includes 1,200 images, consisting of 65 watercolours, 315 drawings, 749 prints (including hand-coloured prints and one albumen print) and 50 double-sided letterpress pages from a book. It is arguably the finest surviving collection in the region, with over 200 Yorkshire villages, towns and cities depicted within its pages.

Through funding by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation this unique resource including maps, topographical drawings and watercolours is now publicly accessible online. Collectively they show how Yorkshire has long been a place of artistic inspiration.

Located opposite The Hepworth Wakefield, the Chantry Chapel is a major city landmark that can be viewed from the gallery. It proved to be a popular subject for a number of 18th and 19th century artists. In addition, the collection includes a group of work by regional topographical artists such as John Buckler (1770-1851), John Coney (1786-1833), Rev. Thomas Kilby (1794-1868) and Louisa Fennell (1847-1930) that provide a fascinating visual history of the development of Wakefield and the surrounding area.

The Gott Collection Conservation and Digitisation Project is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.