York Art Gallery located in Exhibition Square has many changing special exhibitions and home to an impressive collection of paintings and ceramics. There is a good cafe and shop.
Update Dec 2016 - York Art Gallery has been nominated for the prestigious European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA). The gallery is the only British museum on the list of 46 nominees from 24 countries. The winner will be announced on 6 May 2017 in Zagreb, Croatia.
We visited during the York Residents Festival, it was fairly busy! There are displays crammed with unique, interesting ceramics. These bears (above) caught my eye and also the rainbow of ceramics. 'The Lumber Room: Unimagined Treasures', Curated by the artist Mark Hearld was very interesting. You can also see 'Melanie' (below) by Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry. centreofceramicart.org.uk
(Photo above) Shows the arches and entrance to the gallery, CoCA (Centre of Ceramic Art).