Thy virtue merits more

17th century gold seal matrix

The Friends have contributed to Leeds Museum acquiring this unusual gold post medieval seal matrix.

The 17th century seal imprints a heart design that has been pierced by an arrow, with four drops of blood beneath.

It is likely that this was given as a love token as it is inscribed with the romantic sentiment “thy virtue merits more” in a handwritten font- although the curators at Leeds Museum have a different take on it, featured on their blog. They debate that it may in fact have religious significance with reference to the Christian faith.

Grimshaw’s view of Leeds

John Atkinshaw Grimshaw is one of the best known Leeds artists of the 19th century and so the Friends were happy to be able to contribute to a piece so significant to our local history. 

Showing an important time in Leeds’ social history, this view of Leeds from Woodhouse Ridge shows the beginnings of Leeds’ urban expansion as the city’s Victorian industrialisation encroached on the surrounding countryside. This juxtaposition between the urban and the rural is a subject frequently revisited in Grimshaw’s work.

The scene shows figures, one of which is said to be Grimshaw’s wife, looking over Leeds, towards St Chad’s church. 

This work has been added to an already extensive collection of Grimshaw’s paintings owned by Leeds Museum and Galleries. It will soon be added to The Leeds Story exhibition at Leeds City Museum.

View from Woodridge

Colonel Gascoigne’s Medal Room

The Medal Room at Lotherton was Colonel Gascoigne’s study where he kept his collections of books, stamps and medals. The medals were mostly shown in shield-shaped frames on the walls and two of them survive.

With help from the Friends, six more frames have been carved to match and used to display a range of military medals from the Museums’ collection.


The Drawing Room at Lotherton

This is Lotherton’s biggest project in recent times. The silk damask on the walls of the Drawing room had faded and degraded after a hundred years and more. With help from the Friends, it has now been re-woven and re-hung with curtains and blinds made to the original design.

The drawing room re-opened in mid July 2012 and is well worth a visit.  Part of the original faded paper has been left to highlight the conservation work that has taken place – it’s fascinating!

Join us for exclusive invites to exhibitions

Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton at Leeds City Museum

Join the friends of Leeds museums and Galleries and be invited to exclusive events at Leeds City Museum.

The current exhibition ‘Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton’ is on loan from the V&A in London and was well received there by the thousands of visitors who attended.

This exhibition, in the Queens Diamond Jubilee year, tells the fascinating story of a magnificent collaboration between crown and camera and catches Elizabeth II as Princess, Monarch and Mother.

The exhibition carries a small admission charge; however members of the friends have been invited to an exclusive event later this month which will include a glass of bubbly and some nibbles followed by a privative view of the exhibition free of charge. This is just one example of the benefits that membership can bring.

Inside the exhibition space at Leeds City Museum.