The Gregory Fellowships

This symposium aims to bring together scholars, both established and emerging, as well as artists and poets, to share new research and explore the legacy of the Gregory Fellowships at the University of Leeds from 1950-80.

The Gregory Fellowships in the Creative Arts were instituted at the University of Leeds in 1950 under the patronage of Eric Craven Gregory (1888-1959), Chair of Bradford-based printers Percy Lund Humphries.

The underlying ethos of Gregory's scheme was to ‘bring ... younger artists into close touch with the youth of the country so that they may influence it’, and to bring and keep artists in close touch with the community.

Fellowships in Painting, Sculpture and Poetry were established, loosely connected with the Departments of Fine Art and English Literature; a Fellowship in Music was also established to run on a less frequent basis.

T.S. Eliot (1888-1965), Herbert Read (1893-1968), Henry Moore (1898-1986) and Professor Bonamy Dobrée (1891-1974) formed the core of the Gregory Fellowships Advisory Committee. The Fellowships encouraged significant artistic and literary activity at the University, as well as more widely in the city of Leeds and local region (especially Wakefield) between 1950 and 1980, the period during which the scheme operated.

This symposium, a collaboration between the University of Leeds, the Henry Moore Institute and Leeds Art Gallery, was conceived in response to this important cultural legacy of the city. The event was originally proposed by art historian Benedict Read (1945-2016), son of Herbert Read, who was one of the original Gregory Fellowships Advisory Committee members.

Important collections of painting and sculpture by Gregory Fellows held by the University, Leeds Art Gallery and further afield have inspired numerous exhibitions over the years; recently this has included exhibitions at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery (University of Leeds) devoted to Kenneth Armitage (1916-2002) in 2017 and Austin Wright (1922-2003) in 2017-18, as well as forthcoming displays planned at the Henry Moore Institute and at Leeds Art Gallery. 

Several displays and events related to the Gregory Fellows in Poetry have also been organised, in particular by the Poetry Centre of the University of Leeds. However, despite these significant projects, there has been no substantial critical, academic attention or publication regarding the Fellowships scheme as whole to date. Thus, the event will be a valuable opportunity for further discourse surrounding the Fellowships and their legacy.

Tickets are for each day are £5 per person, or free to students (must bring valid student ID). Tickets include refreshments and lunch on day two. For more information please contact Kirstie Gregory, our Research Coordinator, or book a place online using the button below.


University of Leeds Poetry Centre


Venue details

Thursday 14 June, 12 - 7:30pm

Venue address

The Workshop Theatre
School of English
University of Leeds
West Yorkshire
United Kingdom
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Friday 15 June, 10am - 6.30pm

Venue address

Leeds Art Gallery
The Headrow
West Yorkshire
United Kingdom
T: 0113 247 8256
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Opening times

Monday: Closed
Tuesday to Saturday: 10am - 5pm
Sunday: 11am - 3pm

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