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The Argyll Collection


The Argyll Collection is a public art collection which was created for schools in Argyll. It includes work by Scottish and international artists and comprises paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, ceramics, and textiles. It was created between 1960 and 1990 by author Naomi Mitchison and Argyll County Council Art Advisor Jim Tyre. Their aim was to ensure that children living in our rural locality could still access and enjoy contemporary art at its best, including works by many artists known nationally.

The collection is displayed in schools throughout the region and is available to support learning at both primary and secondary levels. If you’d like to learn more about the collection or learn about using it in your school, please contact The Argyll Collection, Reconnected, project manager Rosalyn McKenna or research manager Kirsty MacNab.

The Argyll Collection, Reconnected

The Argyll Collection, Reconnected is a Culture, Heritage and Arts Assembly, Argyll, and Isles (CHARTS) led project principally funded by the Art Fund to review the cultural significance of the Argyll Collection, examining its social, educational and economic contemporary values. Currently supported by and following on from the Argyll Aspires project exhibition, curated by Rothesay Academy pupils at Mount Stuart, The Argyll Collection, Reconnected aims to:

  • Undertake an inventory of the collection artworks and associated documentation.
  • Condition-check every artwork and make recommendations for their future care.
  • Revitalise connections between the collection and schools.
  • Build partnerships with further education and cultural institutions nationwide.
  • Develop sustainable community engagement across Argyll & Bute.
  • Research the artworks and artists in order to better understand the collection’s cultural significance.
  • Share collections research through a varied programme of events, exhibitions, and activities.
  • Establish working relationships between the collection and the region’s practising professional artists.
  • Embed the collection at the heart of CHARTS programming and planning.
  • Raise the profile of the collection regionally, nationally, and internationally.
  • Provide opportunities for young people to undertake meaningful training opportunities.

Youth Opportunities

Meaningful opportunities for Argyll’s young people are at the heart of all CHARTS activities. Our first young person to get involved with Reconnected is Exhibition Trainee Lily Vaughan. From Innellan, near Dunoon, Lily’s role comprises a four-month traineeship supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, based at Dunoon Burgh Hall, to curate a small exhibition from The Argyll Collection based on her own interpretation.

To find out more about Lily’s experiences at CHARTS.

Argyll and Bute Council and CHARTS are also delighted to work in collaboration with Dr Kate Cowcher, Lecturer in Art History at the University of St Andrews; Dr  Lucy Steeds, Senior Lecturer in Art at the University of Edinburgh; and Prof. Christina Young, Professor of Conservation and Technical Art History at The University of Glasgow, whose research, expertise and ongoing support continue to enhance and uncover incredible facts and interests surrounding the Collection.

Culture, Heritage and Arts Assembly, Argyll, and Isles (CHARTS)’ project 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.