Shipley Art Gallery

The Shipley Art Gallery opened in 1917 with a collection of 504 paintings bequeathed by local solicitor Joseph Shipley. Since then the collection has grown to include nearly 800 paintings and collections of works on paper, decorative art and contemporary craft. The Shipley’s art collections were designated as being of national importance in 1998 and include local favourite, William Irving's painting The Blaydon Races.

In 1977 the Shipley began collecting contemporary art made in Britain. Over the last 25 years the venue has become established as a national centre for contemporary craft and has built up one of the best collections outside London, including ceramics, wood, metal, glass, textiles and furniture.

The Shipley is also home to The Henry Rothschild collection of studio ceramics. This includes work by all major makers and studios working in ceramics during the 20th century in the UK. In 1946, Henry Rothschild opened Primavera in London. It became the country’s leading craft retailer. The shop stocked furniture, textiles and glass but mostly ceramics. Henry Rothschild was an important figure for craftspeople, offering them his encouragement and support. He worked hard to promote the best potters when others had yet to take notice.

Find us at...

  • Shipley Art Gallery
  • Prince Consort Road
  • Gateshead
  • NE8 4JB


Entrance Charges

It is free admission for everyone.

Car Parking

The Gallery is situated on Prince Consort Road, close to Gateshead Central Library. There is free parking with a 2 hour limit outside the Gallery. There is one accessible parking bay directly outside the Gallery for the use of blue badge holders.

Public Transport Access Routes and Drop Off Points

The Shipley Art Gallery is a twenty minute walk from Gateshead interchange for Metro and bus services, in the direction of Saltwell Park. The Gallery is also on several bus routes, stopping opposite the Gallery and a five minute walk around the corner to Old Durham Road. For more information on public transport telephone the NEXUS traveline on 0871 200 2233 or visit the traveline website

The nearest drop-off point by taxi, dial-a-ride, car or coach is on Prince Consort Road, directly outside the Gallery.

Building Entrance

There are four steps to the main entrance at the front of the Gallery. To the left on the main entrance, on the side of the building, there is a 10 metre long ramp to an automatic door leading to the reception and shop area. Once at the top of the ramp there is level access to shop, reception and galleries.

Getting Around

There is level access around the ground floor of the Gallery. The lower ground floor is accessible via a staircase but can also be reached by wheelchairs around the side of the building. Please alert staff on the front desk if you require this access.


There is a selection of seating throughout the galleries so that visitors can rest if they so wish.

Public Telephone

The Gallery phone on the reception desk can be used in an emergency or to book taxis for disabled people.

Gallery Plans

Please ask staff on the front desk for assistance with orientation in the galleries.

Assistance Dogs

We welcome assistance dogs. The front desk can provide a bowl of water.

Induction Loops

The Shipley does not have counter loops or induction loops. However a temporary loop can be arranged if we have advanced warning for meetings. Staff will always assist members of the public in need of support. Please feel free to contact us for more information.

Talking audio Guides and Listening Point

There are audio points in the following galleries:
• Gallery A (central gallery) has an audio point for the interactive accompanying William Irving’s painting ‘The Blaydon Races’.
• Gallery D (Designs for Life gallery) has an audio point on the video jukebox. This interactive includes film and audio of artists and manufacturing.

Displays, Exhibitions and Attractions

Large print guides are available for the ‘Designs for Life’ gallery. Also in ‘Designs for Life’ there are a number of films exploring artists and their techniques. These have audio points and subtitling.

The Blaydon Races painting is accompanied by a computer interactive that includes music and narratives from actors. This interactive has an audio point and subtitling.

Temporary exhibitions include large print guides to graphic panels and labels.

Braille versions of text or subtitling from any of the above can be provided upon request.

Films and Interactive Displays

There are various interactives in the galleries. These include computer interactives, films, music and tactile games. A session with additional handling materials can be provided upon request.

Special Exhibitions and Learning Family Activities

Throughout the year, the Gallery holds a wide variety of changing exhibitions, events and activities. For further information please contact the Gallery.

For more organised workshops and classes, please get in touch with a member of the learning team at the Gallery.

Guided Tours for Groups

The Gallery does not provide regular guided tours but if your group would like to have one please contact the Gallery. Three weeks notice should be given.

Accessible Toilets/Baby Changing areas

There is a male accessible toilet on the ground floor to the left of the shop and a female accessible toilet on the ground floor to the right of the main entrance. Both male and female toilets have baby changing facilities.

Shops and Cafés

The Shipley shop contains a range of gifts, books and jewellery for all ages and budgets.

There is not a café facility at the gallery.


Wheelchair Hire

A manual wheelchair is available on request from the main reception/shop. There is no charge/deposit for this service.

Fire Alarms

The fire alarms give an audible bell warning. There is an evac-chair to assist disabled people to exit the building through the rear basement level if required. All fire exits are clearly signposted. If you are likely to need assistance to exit the building in the event of a fire alarm please tell a member of staff on your arrival.

Staff Training

All staff attend a programme of core training which includes customer care, diversity and disability awareness. They are here to help visitors enjoy the time they spend in our venues

If there is anything that we can do to make your visit more enjoyable please contact us, we will be happy to assist you.

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