KEIGHLEY-district artists from across the years feature strongly in a new exhibition of work.

Original pieces by more than 25 artists are on show in Looking Back: Bradford Artists of earlier years, at The Bingley Gallery.

Amongst those whose work is showcased are Arthur Craven, who was born at Sutton-in-Craven and lived near Haworth; Joe Pighills, from Marsh, Oxenhope, and Keighley's Tom Clifton Butterfield.

The exhibition is being launched this evening (March 20), between 7pm-9pm, and continues until April 28.

Gallery owner, David Starley, says: "The works are predominantly landscapes and the exhibition title Looking Back reflects changes over time.

"It's generally urban views that have changed most. In the countryside, many landscapes have altered little, particularly the moors and the beauty spots protected by planning controls. The picturesque ruins of Bolton Abbey for example look as ruinous today as they have for years, even if they are underpinned to prevent further decay!

"Changes in farming practices, such as the move from hand-scythed corn stooks to mechanised baling, may be evident. Look more carefully and other changes can be seen – a clay pit painted by Tom Butterfield was once a feature of Keighley but has now been filled in; tracks may now be surfaced, and pylons erected.

"When Joe Pighills’ son, John, visited the gallery he pointed out which of the dilapidated cottages his father painted had since been demolished. However, others had been converted into stylish living accommodation!

"Painting styles have changed too. Comparing a Joe Pighills watercolour to one by more recent Keighley artist, Arthur Craven, suggests that taste has moved towards less sombre tones. However, there is still much to admire from the older generation of watercolourists, many of whom received their excellent training through local mechanics' institutes and art schools. We have these venues to thank for much of our rich legacy of art in the region."

Mr Starley says labels and writing on the back of frames often also help shed light on the art scene in past years.

He adds: "A surprisingly large number of art galleries existed in the last 100 years or so, with most towns having a gallery or two.

"There were prestigious establishments like Edwin Riby’s gallery in Keighley, which employed eight people, but more commonly they were little more than a shop which combined selling space with a place to paint."

For more about The Bingley Gallery and the exhibition, visit