Peter Brown NEAC
Paintings of Yorkshire
20 March – 24 April
M E S S U M S   Y O R K S H I R E
4-6 James Street, Harrogate HG1 1RF

One of the leading plein-air painters of our time, Peter Brown, also known as “Pete the Street” has come to Yorkshire for the first time braving the snow to capture the beauty of Harrogate in its lockdowned state. Commissioned by Messums Yorkshire, itself based in James Street, the heart of historic Harrogate, he has made more than 20 oil paintings of different views of the famous spa town and nearby landmarks.  His inaugural exhibition in Yorkshire will open on 20 March and run until 24 April 2021.


Peter Brown, capturing a place in a unique period of time

 Brown, who is President of the New English Art Club (NEAC), founded on the spirit of Impressionism and post Impressionism, first became captivated by the distinct character of urban architecture and how it affects human interaction, in Bath, where he lives. But the appeal of exploring another spa town with its terraces, crescents and Athenian columns lured him to Harrogate just before the third national lockdown in January 2021.

“I was struck by the old-fashioned feel of Harrogate – the cast iron structures fronting parades of shops, the wonderful tool shops such as Arkwrights with their old-style graphics advertising ‘Electrical goods’ and ‘Spanners’,” he says.

“I found my first painting looking across the front of the Yorkshire Hotel at Cambridge Crescent, Parliament Street and Betty’s Tea Room. It was a nervous fiddly start and a scene that required a lot of detail. Those paintings can finish you off! You fiddle and fiddle and are never happy but determined to break the duck, you work on it for too long and finish exhausted.”

However, salvation after this tricky start came when he discovered the ravishing view from the bottom of Cornwall Road towards “the delicious curving dipping and rising of Crescent Road and Royal Parade with the Royal Pump room in the fore. I painted with confidence and chatted to locals.”

After graduating from Manchester Polytechnic, Brown returned to the streets of Bath, painting on-site, whatever the weather. Never one to stay put for long, he and his easel are now regularly spotted throughout London, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, Paris, and even in the Indian city Udaipur, not to mention the coves, cliffs and shores of Cornwall, Dorset, Devon, Somerset and Brittany.

“I work entirely from life using the cities and the countryside as my subjects. I start with what tickles me, and this is likely to be a certain play of the light, weather, space and everyday life. Most of my drawings and paintings take several sittings over consecutive days and, in that time, I may meet police officers, dog walkers, road sweepers, residents and tourists.”

This exhibition will be Peter Brown’s debut at Messums Yorkshire at 4-6 James Street HG1  to organise interviews, or to obtain further information and high resolution images please contact or call Julia Lawson-Tancred on 077787 561448

M e s s u m s  W i l t s h i re is a leading multi-purpose gallery and arts centre set inside a restored thirteenth-century tithe barn and surrounding buildings with exhibition space, sculpture garden and restaurant.

M e s s u m s  L o n d o n  is a refurbished 1950’s gallery on Cork Street where the family have had a gallery presence since 1992. Messums offers artists and collectors a unique environment to experience and engage with creative endeavour across multiple artforms.

M e s s u m s Y o r k s h I r e  opened in early July 2020. The third Messums gallery to open in England in James Street, Harrogate, it hosts a rolling programme of exhibitions together with accompanying talks and events mirroring the highly successful programmes on offer in Messums Wiltshire and Messums London.

A comprehensive list of past and future exhibitions can be found on our websites

Editor’s notes:  New English Art Club of which Peter Brown is the President:

For more information see website:

The New English Art Club is an elected society of contemporary painters whose ethos resides in art informed by the visual world and personal interpretation.

Historically, the New English Art Club was founded by a group of artists dissatisfied with the entrenched attitudes of the Royal Academy. They mounted their first show in 1886 including paintings by Clausen, Sickert and Stanhope Forbes. The club increasingly attracted younger artists, bringing with them the influence of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Many diverse styles of art have developed since its founding, adding richness and variety.

The New English Art Club Annual Exhibition is a showcase not only for its members but also for aspiring artists: with a history going back more than a hundred years, it is an opportunity for work to be seen alongside some of the best artists painting today, held at Mall Galleries in London.