Celebrating the lives of Wilfred Owen and Winifred Holtby at Scarborough Art Gallery


Scarborough Art Gallery is marking the centenary of the First World War with exhibitions and events commemorating the lives of Wilfred Owen and Winifred Holtby. Running until 2 September, the two exhibitions will provide visitors with a glimpse into the lives of two prominent writers, who once called Scarborough their home.

“They will not dream of us poor lads…”: Wilfred Owen in Scarborough takes a focused look at the final year of the acclaimed poet’s life between 1917 and 1918. Spending much of his time in Scarborough, based at the then Clarence Gardens Hotel, Wilfred Owen wrote some of his most famous works including Miners.

The exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to explore how Wilfred Owen’s experiences, the people he met and the places he visited shaped him as a poet. The display will show material from the Bodleian Library archive, loans from the Owen family and items from the Scarborough Collections. Anthony Padgett’s bust of Wilfred Owen, donated to the gallery on the anniversary of the poet’s death last year, is also on display as part of the exhibition.


On Thursday 3 May the gallery will host an exclusive Curator’s Choice event at 2pm – 3pm. Curator Jennifer Dunne will take visitors through the key themes of the exhibition and look more closely at the pieces on display.

Running alongside the Wilfred Owen exhibition, Winifred’s War explores the life of successful Yorkshire novelist, journalist and social reformer Winifred Holtby. Curated by photojournalist Lee Karen Stow, the exhibition provides an intimate insight into the life of a woman who used her journalistic talent to campaign and advocate for peace before her untimely death, aged 37.

Jennifer Dunne, Collections Manager at Scarborough Museums Trust said:

“The Wilfred Owen and Winifred Holtby exhibitions are hugely important to our local history, not to mention their poignancy this year. Marking 100 years since the final year of the First World War, they highlight the incredible talent and untimely deaths of two prominent literary figures – both of whom are renowned for their works today.

We’ve worked closely with the Wilfred Owen Society and Lee Karen Stow to bring together objects and images which have helped to reveal the stories behind the people.”

The exhibitions are free to visit with an Annual Pass.