Our Fine Art collection dates from about 1650 to the present day. It contains 5,500 works including paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints, photographs, sketch books and sculpture thanks to generous bequests, such as that in 1949 of 600 works from George and Emily Bottomley as well as an art purchase scheme.

Cumbrian art is well represented (about 1,500 works). These include Victorian landscapes by Sam Bough and William James Blacklock; local scenes by Thomas Bushby; textiles by Alastair Morton; 20th century  artists, such as Winifred Nicholson, Sheila Fell and Percy Kelly. Contemporary Cumbrian artists include Keith Tyson, Julian Cooper and Martin Greenland. 

Our collection of British Art includes works by renowned artists such as Stanley Spencer, Paul Nash, L. S. Lowry, Lucien Pisarro and Paul Spencer. 
Our significant Pre-Raphaelite collection includes works by George Howard (Ninth Earl of Carlisle), Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Elizabeth Siddal, Ford Madox Brown, Edward Burne-Jones and Arthur Hughes.

Pre-Raphaelite Art

A group of seven artists founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood as a secret society in 1848. The artists William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti were the driving force. They found the fashionable art of the day uninspiring and wanted to produce art that was challenging...

North Country Artists

Dr Edmund Law, Bishop of Carlisle, about 1780 by George Romney

Artists from northern Cumbria and views of the area are well represented in the collection and demonstrate the region’s rich artistic heritage. There are over six-hundred works in a variety of media dating from 1650 to recent times. The collection includes work by artists such as George Romney,...

Objects in this collection