Laura Knight Portraits

02 Nov 13 - 16 Feb 14

Ballet Girl and Dressmaker. Collection of Miriam U. Hoover and the Late H. Earl Hoover. © Reproduced with permission of The Estate of Dame Laura Knight DBE RA 2013. All Rights Reserved

Ballet Girl and Dressmaker. Collection of Miriam U. Hoover and the Late H. Earl Hoover. © Reproduced with permission of The Estate of Dame Laura Knight DBE RA 2013. All Rights Reserved

A new exhibition of work by one of the most popular and pioneering artists of the 20th century is coming to the Laing Art Gallery. Laura Knight Portraits opens on Saturday 2 November and is made up of 30 outstanding portraits by Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970).

The exhibition brings together some of the works inspired by ballet and theatre which Knight was well known for including a formal portrait of the dancer Lubov Tchernicheva, painted in Knight’s studio in 1921. Also included are a number of portraits produced during her time as a war artist in the Second World War, amongst them 'The Dock, Nuremberg', shown alongside preparatory sketches and Knight's diaries from her time spent documenting the Nuremberg trial. 

Many of the smaller works on paper are from private collections and have never been publicly exhibited until this exhibition. The exhibition will also include a large work commissioned by the American Industrialist Earl Hoover that has not been exhibited in the UK since it was painted in 1930, entitled Ballet Girl and Dressmaker.

The exhibition not only reveals Knight’s highly distinctive and vivid style of portraiture but also reflects her success in gaining greater professional recognition for women in the arts.

Laura Knight continued to paint into the 1960s, securing her reputation as one of the most celebrated artists of her time.

An exhibition catalogue will be available from the Laing Art Gallery shop. Exhibition organised by the National Portrait Gallery, London.


An entry fee applies to this exhibition. 

Book online here (transaction fee applies) via Eventbrite, or book in person at the Laing Art Gallery (Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm; Sundays, 2pm to 5pm).  

Full price: £5.00

Family ticket (1 adult): £7.00

Family ticket (2 adults): £11.00

Senior citizens: £4.50

Concessions*: £4.00

Membership discounts**: £2.50 

Children under 12: Free

*Concessions apply to 12-18 year olds, students, registered unemployed, disabled people (with free entry for one carer). Proof of age or status is required. 

**Membership discounts apply to Friends of the Laing, Laing Exhibition Partners, Art Fund Members. 

“In a tour-de-force of realist candour, Knight employs sculptural draftsmanship and a sheeny, mobile light to immortalise two women in a moment of fl eeting intimacy as if she were an Old Master capturing two classical heroes.”
Rachel Spence reviews Laura Knight Portraits for the FT.

Here's what visitors to the Laing have been saying about the exhibition: 


Superb exhibition - well worth entrance charge.

This was superb. It should be blasted from the hillside calling the North East to come. 

Wonderful!!! A gem!!!

A much anticipated visit which well exceeded my expectations. Marvellous. A look carefully at the sheer breadth of DLK's subject matter and media use

Laura Knight - a wonderful exhibition - we just loved it. What skill she had!

Laura Knight Portraits - Out of this world. The Nuremberg Trial is the best painting I've ever seen.

What a great exhibition - a delight to be introduced to such a talented artist. Such a long time since I enjoyed an exhibition so much. Thank you!

A amazing exhibition. Feel I know her as a woman as well as an artist. A wonderful range of pictures - loved them.

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