The work of a famous photographer captures the story of a city

Fascinating photographs capturing decades of life in Leeds will go on display in the first major retrospective to showcase the work of British documentary photographer Peter Mitchell.

Leeds Art Gallery is delighted to present Nothing Lasts Forever, which opens on 17th May.

Peter Mitchell, widely regarded as one of the most important color photographers of the early 20th century, became best known for his photographic chronicles of Leeds, which include a series of stunning photographs of the city through the 1970s and 80.

The exhibition will take the public on a journey through his remarkable career, reflecting on key works in the context of his deep connection with Leeds.

Capturing local Leeds landmarks and the socio-historical narrative that enveloped them, works on display from Leeds Art Gallery’s own collection include Priestley House Entrance (1978) and Neilson House (1978), part of a haunting series documenting the demise of Quarry Hill Estate. , once the largest social housing estate in the UK.

The exhibition will exhibit works from Mitchell’s personal collection for the first time and will feature personal ephemera and found objects that contextualize his close connection to the city.

Nothing Lasts Forever will also mark a return to Leeds Art Gallery for Mitchell, who had his first exhibition in 1975 at the Education Gallery at Leeds City Art Gallery.

Jane Bhoyroo, Principal Keeper at Leeds Art Gallery, said: “We are delighted to be working closely with Peter on this major exhibition. As one of the UK’s most outspoken color photographers of the last century, Peter’s historic links with Leeds Art Gallery – who first exhibited here nearly 50 years ago – make this opportunity even more special. And for those who call Leeds home, we hope this exhibition will shed an intriguing new light on their urban surroundings.”

Councilor Jonathan Pryor, Deputy Leader of Leeds City Council and Executive Member for Economy, Culture and Education, added: “These remarkable images capture a number of important moments in Leeds’ story and will give visitors a real insight into how life in the city it was decades ago, as well as a new perspective on how much it has changed in the intervening years.

“We are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to exhibit the work of such a renowned photographer in the beautiful setting of Leeds Art Gallery.”

To coincide with this major exhibition of Mitchell’s work comes the launch of a new publication, Nothing Lasts Forever. The book acts as a visual guide to navigate the artist’s long-rooted and poetic connection with Leeds.

Nothing Lasts Forever is on display at Leeds Art Gallery from 17 May to 6 October 2024 and is free to visit. The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive program of events, including Peter Mitchell in conversation with Martin Parr at Hyde Park Picture House on Friday 9 August.

Nothing Lasts Forever published by RRB Photobooks is now available to order in paperback or limited edition hardcover from – Trade Edition £30 / Special Edition £135