AN exhibition of artwork by the artist Dorothy Bradford is being held this autumn at Ilkley Manor House.

The ‘Rhythms of Life Exhibition’ features an impressive body of work which the artist has produced throughout a life dedicated to art, with one visible subject - movement.

Born in Cockermouth, Cumbria, her father taught art and her mother’s great uncle exhibited at the Royal Academy, but Dorothy knew she did not want to become the teacher her parents wished her to be. Instead, she chose the riskier path of becoming an artist.

While Dorothy lived in Ilkley, she was instrumental in establishing the Manor House as a museum and art gallery where she exhibited her own work as well as those of her contemporaries.

Sarah Thomas, chair of the Manor House Trust, said: ‘It is a great pleasure to be able to work with the Dorothy Bradford’s family to bring her work back to the Manor House again.”

Back in Liverpool in the 1960s, Dorothy undertook major commissions including a large work (The Offering) at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral which is still on show today. Dorothy also produced drawings with Liverpool football players as the subject.

1971 she was the official artist to the New Philharmonia orchestra on tour in the US, and in 1975 she performed the same function for the Leeds international pianoforte competition. Dorothy saw many parallels between painting and music, not least the close connections between colour and sound.

Dorothy’s paintings and drawings have been exhibited widely and her works are represented in many collections in the UK, US, South Africa, Australia, Denmark and elsewhere.

Mary Thomson (formerly Sara) will be giving a talk about Dorothy and her work from the exhibition on Saturday, September 3 which will also be live streamed on Zoom. Booking details and full details of the exhibition opening times can be found on the Manor House website –

The exhibition opens at 1am on September 3 and runs until the end of October.

The mid-14th century stone manor house and courtyard sits within the footprint of the Roman fort, Olicana, and was opened by patron and Ilkley-born TV gardener and presenter, Alan Titchmarsh, in April 2018.

The Trust’s vision is to create an ambitious heritage and creative quarter for the town.

Ilkley Manor House Trust is a registered charity and runs the Grade 1 listed building as a heritage and arts centre.

It always welcomes new volunteers. Anybody interested in getting involved is invited to get in touch should email

New supporters are also welcomed with details of how to join on the website.

The Manor House is open at weekends from February 26 and is free to visitors. Donations are always welcome.

For full details of its programmes go to:

News of what’s on can also be followed on social media:

Ilkley Manor House - Home Facebook

Ilkley Manor House (@ManorHouseIlk) / Twitter

Ilkley Manor House (@ilkleymanorhouse) with Instagram photos and videos.