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The Argyll Collection

Porto Ercole

The Argyll Collection is a unique group of 179 artworks created from an innovative educational idea six decades ago. Author Naomi Mitchison and former Argyll County Council art advisor and teacher Jim Tyre created the collection to enable young people to experience fine art across the vast rural area of Argyll when, at that time, school pupils and older residents had no or little access to museums and galleries. Boldly established and supported by the local authority between 1960 and 1990, the collection is now recognised as an outstanding asset for the region.

The collection includes many notable modern Scottish artists, including Joan Eardley, John Byrne, William MacTaggart, Robert Stewart, Elizabeth Blackadder and Anne Redpath. Naomi Mitchison’s travels to eastern and southern Africa are also reflected in an outstanding group of twelve artworks by artists from Africa, including works by Jak Katarikawe, Henry Tayali, Catherine Gombe and Sam J Ntiro.

The collection includes a variety of artworks, including paintings, prints, drawings, textiles, ceramics, and sculptures.

Argyll and Bute Council and the Culture, Heritage and Arts Assembly, Argyll, and Isles (CHARTS) are now working together to review The Argyll Collection’s cultural significance by exploring its social, educational and economic value in contemporary times. This partnership project, The Argyll Collection, Reconnected, aims to grow interest and create new opportunities (2023-2025).

Culture, Heritage and Arts Assembly, Argyll, and Isles (CHARTS)’ project The Argyll Collection, Reconnected The Argyll Collection, Reconnected is funded by the Art Fund and supported by Argyll and Bute Council, National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Gannochy Trust,  Bòrd na Gàidhlig and the William Syson Foundation.