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Art Collection

The art collection held by Paisley Museum comprises over 3000 objects, including paintings, works on paper, sculpture, photographs, and digital media. The Collection is divided into three subcategories: the Art collection, the Contemporary collection, and the Studio Ceramic collection.


The Art collection is dominated by significant Scottish art from the 19th and 20th centuries although it also features English and Continental oil paintings. Our collection includes work by the ‘Glasgow Boys’, many of whom had a connection with Paisley and work that inspired this group from the Barbizon School, including Corot, Courbet, Diaz and the Scottish Colourists. The ‘Glasgow Boys’ were innovators in Scottish art, following in the footsteps of the ‘Barbizon School’ by painting outdoors and adopting new approaches to subject matter and technique.


In the 21st century, curatorial focus on active collecting has ensured that significant Scottish modern and contemporary artists are represented. The Contemporary collection includes paintings and sculptures by John Byrne (Patron of Paisley Museum Reimagined), Steven Campbell and Claire Barclay. Examples include two works by Hanneline Visnes on the staircase and works by Claire Barclay that will be displayed in the bright new connecting space between the Balcony Gallery and the Studio Gallery.


The Studio Ceramic collection is one of the best collections of 20th-century studio ceramics in Scotland and in the top ten of British collections. One highlight is the porcelain bottle created by Dame Lucie Rie (1902-1995).

Artworks displayed

"Adoration of the Magi" (Balgonie Altarpiece), Pieter Coecke van Aelst the elder (1502–1550)
“Paisley Cross”, James Elder Christie (1868)
"The Bassae Frieze", John Henning
"Princess of Burma", Saw Ohn Nyun, oil on canva
Joan Eardley (1921-1963) , Boy on Stool, oil on canvas
"Boy on Stool", Joan Eardley (1921-1963), oil on canvas

For more information on our Arts collection, you can contact either of our Art Curators:

Andrea Kusel – Andrea specialises in Scottish 20th century and contemporary art. She is a member of Curatorial Leadership in Collections (CLiC).

Dr Victoria Irvine – Victoria specialises in 19th century Scottish painting, with a special interest in women’s histories. She is a member of the Scottish Women and the Arts Network (SWARN).