Yorkshire hall of fame is hung for posterity

Michael Parkinson by Jonathan Yeo. Picture: National Portrait Gallery, London
Michael Parkinson by Jonathan Yeo. Picture: National Portrait Gallery, London
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It is a gallery of faces spanning four centuries and is as much a hall of infamy as of fame.

More than 20 works of art depicting some of Yorkshire’s “game changers, rebels and influencers” will go on display next month in the saloon galleries at Beningbrough Hall, an early 18th century red brick mansion north of York.

The subjects include the former local resident Guy Fawkes, executed for his part in the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, and the Skelmanthorpe actress Jodie Whittaker, who currently inhabits the character TV’s time travelling Doctor Who.

The veteran chat show host Michael Parkinson, who hails from Barnsley, is another subject, along with the Leeds boxer Nicola Adams, and Haworth’s Charlotte Brontë.

The portraits and sculptures to be exhibited – including some by Yorkshire’s Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and David Hockney – are on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, the Arts Council Collection and York Art Gallery.

Others have come from the Yorkshire portrait artist Olivia Hemingway, who said she was “excited” to be exhibiting alongside such company.

“Beningbrough Hall is a wonderful space for showcasing art and this was a great opportunity to produce some special pieces for this exhibition,” she said.

Helen Osbond, the venue’s exhibitions manager, said the none-month exhibition was “an exciting and bold step”.

She said: “It will showcase some of Yorkshire’s most well-known and in some cases most controversial characters. We hope the exhibition will make visitors think, laugh and debate their Yorkshire favourites.”