Inspired by Heraldry exhibition

Inspired by: Heraldry

Royal Armouries welcomes the opportunity to work with community groups to produce artworks Inspired by… our collection and themes. Jim Winstanley

The Yorkshire Heraldry Society dates to 1970 and it took on its Yorkshire name in 1987. Today, it comprises 50 members and meets eight times a year, promoting the medieval art through lectures, art and local history.

Calligrapher and long-serving Society member Jim Winstanley has hand-painted each heraldic design for the exhibition, which are inspired by the museum and its collections in a number of ways.

Most obviously, are his drawings of the arms of famous participants in tournaments. These include King Henry VIII, whose armour can be seen in the Tournament gallery, and Emperor Maximilian. The gallery also houses armour from Maximilian’s workshop, which was presented to Henry VIII.

The arms of several famous Yorkshire families are an appropriate link to Royal Armouries’ move north to establish its headquarters in Leeds in 1996. Similarly, the arms of some livery companies make a connection with several trades, which were once intimately linked with the production of arms and armour.

Finally, it is interesting to see how many of the drawings feature weapons or armour, particularly helmets, as part of their compositions. Heraldry and arms and armour make perfect partners.

The exhibition will be on display on the mezzanine of the Tournament Gallery in the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds, from 28 March – 5 October 2014.

The Yorkshire Heraldry Society website