Nottingham City Museums & Galleries Fine Art Collection



Install shot, Long Gallery 2015, image by John Hartley

Spanning a period from the 12th century to the present day, the City’s Fine Art collection has been growing since the opening of the Castle Museum in 1878. The Museum’s founding vision was to present the best of past and present local and international art for the education and enjoyment of Nottingham people and to collect art that would inspire designers working for Nottingham’s lace and other industries.

Highlights of the painting collection include: 17th century Dutch and Northern European paintings; paintings by important Nottingham artists Paul Sandby (a founder of the Royal Academy) and Richard Parkes Bonington. A 20th century British collection including works by William Nicholson, Ben Nicholson, Winifred Nicholson, Dame Laura Knight, Harold Knight, Edward Burra, Edward Wadsworth, Tristram Hillier, Mathew Smith, L.S. Lowry, Ivon Hitchens and Stanley Spencer. Work by all of these artists can be seen in our current Long Gallery display, which was rehung in 2014 (see images). A number of works from the collection have gone out on loan in the past and we continue to lend work to national and international institutions, therefore if their is a specific work you are interested in seeing during your visit please contact us at to enquire whether the work is currently out on display.


Install shot, Long Gallery 2015, image by John Hartley

Contemporary photography, textiles and sculpture have also been collected from the founding of the museum, across all art forms today includes internationally-renowned artists such as Phyllida Barlow, Christina Mackie, Grayson Perry, Wolfgang Tillmans and Sam Taylor-Johnson.  These often feature in temporary exhibition focusing on our collections.

Art has been acquired through several large and important bequests, individual donations and through the generosity of the Art Fund, Contemporary Art Society, the V&A/MLA Purchase Grant Fund and The Friends of Nottingham Museums.