Impact case studies

Discover Turner's Yorkshire

Discover Turner’s Yorkshire: public-oriented research and commercialisation

Professor David Hill, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

Impact summary

`Discover Turner's Yorkshire' identifies seventy sites depicted by the artist; each marked with distinctive seats or interpretation boards directly attributable to Professor David Hill's research, in addition to the following materials:

  • `Discover Turner's Yorkshire' map (44,000 copies distributed and additional 18,000 used by Turner Trail sites and galleries).
  • Discover Turner's Yorkshire booklet with national and international distribution, including a foreword and location descriptions authored by Hill. Extensive ‘Yorkshire Turner Trails’ website.

This highlighted new tourist venues, as well as directing fresh attention to established attractions.

This also led to a number of specific commercial initiatives, including new `Turner Tours' organised by regional tourism companies.

Welcome to Yorkshire estimates that as many as 1.25 million visitors had seen the interpretation boards by November 2011.

The media and PR publicity generated by the Turner Trails has been extensive, with reports in both national and regional newspapers, as well as radio and TV coverage, equating to almost £600,000 in total Advertising Value Equivalency up to November 2011.

Welcome to Yorkshire is considering further regional artists tours, extending the economic impact of this model.

Underpinning research

Professor David Hill is an expert on J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) having researched the life and work of the artist for more than thirty-five years.
Hill was one of the first of a generation of modern scholars who recognised both the need and the scope for research into the topographical aspects of Turner's work.

He has published regularly in this area since 1980, achieving an extensive scholarly and popular readership.

Hill's work has been cited in most general Turner literature of the last thirty years and informed independent exhibitions such as Turner tours of Durham and Richmondshire (Bowes Museum 2006).