An image from The Sutcliffe Gallery

About

Frank Meadow Sutcliffe was born in Leeds in 1853 – just 14 years after the birth of photography. He was the son of Thomas Sutcliffe, an artist, lecturer and art critic.

In 1870 the family moved to Whitby, where they had often spent their summer holidays. His father died the following year and Frank, now the head of the family at eighteen, decided to make his living with a camera.

Whitby in Victorian times was a thriving tourist resort and Frank Sutcliffe became very successful taking studio portraits of the wealthy holiday makers.

Taking portraits in a studio paid the bills, but Sutcliffe really wanted to photograph the everyday working people in Whitby and the beautiful surrounding countryside.

He developed an affection and respect for the town and its people which shines through his work, producing photographs which were not only of the highest technical merit, but also displayed great artistry.

Between 1880 and 1894, Sutcliffe was awarded over sixty gold, silver and bronze medals at exhibitions as far afield as New York, Tokyo, Berlin, Paris, Chicago and Vienna, as well as at major exhibitions in this country.

The beautiful photographs taken by Frank Meadow Sutcliffe live on at The Sutcliffe Gallery in Whitby where, for the last 56 years, the Shaw family have been the custodians of the collection, always conscious of being responsible for a great National archive.

Visitors from all over the world make a pilgrimage to the gallery and are fascinated to see how working people lived in Victorian England. The Sutcliffe photographs portray an immediacy and realism of everyday life that paintings of the period sometimes struggle to emulate.

Facilities

COVID-19 Response

  • Online ordering only

Map & Directions

Road Directions

By Road:A19, A171 Middlesborough, A19, A64 York, A169 Pickering. Follow harbourside to centre of town towards swing bridge opposite bridge, short hill 'Golden Lion Bank' at top of this bank on left-hand side.Accessible by Public Transport: Whitby station is 0 miles away.

The Sutcliffe Gallery

Type:Online Shopping

Online only, Whitby, North Yorkshire
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Call direct on:

Tel01947 602239

Awards

  • Membership SchemeDiscover Yorkshire Coast – Silver Member Discover Yorkshire Coast – Silver Member 2021

Opening Times

* The gallery has now closed and is an online shop only.

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