Why the Hatton Matters

Why is the Hatton so important?

Kurt Schwitters

The Hatton Gallery has been at the heart of cultural life in the North East since the early 20th century. It has had a dynamic and illustrious history, which is unique because of its relationship as part of one of the oldest art schools in the English regions, Newcastle Fine Art School.

The Hatton Gallery ounded in 1925 and named in honour of Professor Richard George Hatton, professor of what was then the King Edward VII School of Art, Armstrong College, Durham University. He subsequently became Head of the Fine Art School at Newcastle University.

The Hatton has played a special role in the history of art teaching and by the 1950s a number of artists, who were leading figures in the avant-garde art establishment, including Richard Hamilton and Victor Pasmore, were working in the Fine Art Department at Newcastle University and experimenting with new approaches to making and exhibiting art.

Today the Hatton is home to Kurt Schwitter’s Merz Barn wall which was brought to the gallery in 1965 and incorprated into the fabric of the building.

Our painting collection includes works from the 14th century to the present day. Key pieces include work by Francis Bacon, Richard Hamilton, Palma Giovane, Thomas Bewick, Eduardo Paolozzi, Camillo Procaccini, Patrick Heron, William Roberts, Victor Pasmore and Richard Ansdell. Watercolours by Wyndham Lewis, Thomas Hair and Robert Jobling are also held.

The Hatton stages a programme of historical, modern and contemporary art exhibitions, and events including artist and curator talks and family activities. We work closely with students from Newcastle University and exhibt their work on an annual basis.