Hull wins race to be UK City of Culture 2017
Yorkshire port city, where the great art dealer Joseph Duveen was born, is a surprise choice
By Javier Pes. Web only
Published online: 20 November 2013
The city of Hull, Yorkshire, in the north east of England is celebrating after being named today, 20 November, the UK City of Culture 2017. The honour, which comes with no government funding, means the port city will succeed the first UK City of Culture, Derry-Londonderry, which is enjoying its 12 months in the spotlight this year.
Hull, which seldom gets rave coverage, beat off competition from Swansea Bay in Wales, Dundee in Scotland and Leicester in the Midlands of England. Hull promises to organise 12 artists' residencies among other cultural events in a planned £12m programme. The city, which is much smarter than it was, is ripe for further regeneration. It boasts a Terry Farrell-designed aquarium, The Deep, with fine views of the spectacular Humber Bridge.
It is better known for acting and the theatre (Tom Courtenay was born in Hull) and the late poet Philip Larkin lived there (he was the head librarian of the University of Hull for three decades) than the visual arts. But the city's contribution to art history cannot be overlooked. The great art dealer, Joseph Duveen, whose clients included the American industrialists Henry Clay Frick, J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller among others, was born in Hull in 1869.
This April, the components of the artist Richard Wilson's 77-tonne sculpture Slipstream, which will hang in Heathrow's new Terminal Two, were completed by a Hull-based engineering firm. The work is due to be unveiled next summer in London.
Hull's Ferens Art Gallery has a fine collection of Old Masters, including Frans Hals's Portrait of a Young Woman, around 1665-60, as well as maritime paintings reflecting its heritage as a port, home of a North Sea fishing fleet and an Arctic whaling industry, which peaked in the 19th century.
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