The art collection includes a representative selection of works by local artists and craftspeople and representations of local people and places dating from the 1600s to the present day. There is a strong collection of oil and watercolour paintings, and art pottery from North Somerset. Art represents 2% of the North Somerset Council museum collection.
The fine art collection contains a significant group of oil portraits of the Smyth-Piggott family, an important set of watercolour paintings of local people, known as the Weston Worthies, produced by an unidentified artist in the 1850s, and much local topographical art of good quality.
The decorative art collection includes significant groups of Brislington delftware, Eltonware and Fishley Holland pottery, and products made by the Royal Potteries.
Highlights from the Art Collection:
There is a nationally significant collection of material by the graphic artist Alfred Leete (1882-1933), most famous for his iconic image of Lord Kitchener produced during the First World War. Outstanding individual items include two portraits by Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), a pair of portraits by John Hayls (1600-1679), and a delftware plate depicting Adam and Eve.