Argyll and Bute Council is set to launch an online showcase of oil paintings. ‘Painting of The Month’ will feature a painting from collections in the council’s ownership with the aim of increasing the number of people who can view and enjoy the art.
Just click http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/painting/gruinart-islay to view this month’s painting and read details of the artist and the subject of the painting. The first oil painting to feature is ‘Loch Gruinart’ by Perpetua Pope, which is part of probably the best known of the three collections owned by the council – The Argyll Collection.
The council’s Policy Lead for Community and Culture, Councillor Robin Currie, said, “The council has been entrusted with the care and safekeeping of a wide variety of works of art in every medium.
“They have been donated, purchased and received through bequest, and contribute greatly to education in our schools as well as providing a rich cultural experience for visitors to our public buildings, museum and libraries.
“Through providing a monthly online access point there is the opportunity to enjoy some of this work from the comfort of your home or on the move through any mobile device. We hope that people will be inspired to explore the collections further by checking for the featured painting each month and through ongoing exhibitions which will be publicised.”
In three collections there are in excess of 350 works of art, which are shown in offices, schools and public buildings and special exhibitions. They are The Argyll Collection, the Anderson Trust Art Collection and the council’s Museums and Libraries Collection.
The Argyll Collection, with 179 pieces, was the brainchild of James H Tyre, art advisor for Argyll County Council (later Argyll and Bute District Council) from 1960 to 1988. He purchased a variety of artworks as a valuable learning resource which was distributed to schools. He achieved this with support from the author Naomi Mitchison who travelled extensively in Africa and Asia, purchasing artworks and shipping them back to Argyll as well as accessing artworks from British galleries and artists. The Argyll Collection was the first of its type to be set up by an education authority in Scotland.
Helensburgh Library is home to the Anderson Trust Art Collection of around 90 works and a selection of these paintings is displayed in the library from January to June each year. This collection was established in the 1980’s on the death of Miss Ann Anderson, a former town councillor and Helensburgh’s first woman Bailie. Prior to her death Miss Anderson expressed her wish that her collection of paintings, all of which are associated with the area, either by artist or subject matter, should be kept for the area, and on this basis the Anderson Trust was established. In 1998 the Anderson Collection was given a permanent home in the new Helensburgh Library.
Argyll and Bute Council’s Museums and Library Collection has 89 pieces, including oil paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints, sculpture and textiles. This collection is on display in Campbeltown Museum, branch libraries and council buildings all over Argyll and Bute.
Anyone who would like to view the council’s oil paintings can do so at their local branch library where a copy of the Public Catalogue Foundation’s ‘Oil paintings of North and West Scotland’ is available.