Scottish Maritime Museum makes public call for art

Fiona Carmichael, Curator of Art at the Scottish Maritime Museum, launches a public search for art to complement the Museums growing art collection, which already includes works by Francis Cadell,
Fiona Carmichael, Curator of Art at the Scottish Maritime Museum, launches a public search for art to complement the Museums growing art collection, which already includes works by Francis Cadell,

Halfway through an ambitious art acquisition programme the Scottish Maritime Museum is calling out to members of the public who might have works of art, which would enhance the growing, nationally significant art collection.

The Scottish Maritime Museum, which is based on the Harbourside in Irvine, Ayrshire, with a smaller museum in Dumbarton, has already collected over 40 works of art under the project entitled SMMart: Enriching the Imagery of Scotland’s Maritime Heritage.

Over the coming 15 months, as well as continuing to acquire work direct from artists and auction houses, the Scottish Maritime Museum is keen to hear from any members of the public who may have works of art by artists born or living in Scotland and depicting a Scottish shipbuilding, engineering or coastal scene which would befit the growing collection.

The SMMart project to develop an art collection to complement and enrich the nationally recognised collection of maritime heritage has been made possible by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Collecting Cultures programme.

The new acquisitions include ‘The Pier at Cove - Loch Long’ by internationally renowned Scottish Colourist Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell. ‘The Pier at Cove - Loch Long’ was acquired with the additional assistance of Art Fund and the National Fund for Acquisitions.

The Museum has also acquired works of art by George Wyllie, Kate Downie, Will Maclean, Joyce W. Cairns, Tom McKendrick, Benno Schotz and Patricia Cain amongst others.

SMMart is led by the Museum’s first Curator of Art, Fiona Carmichael, whose appointment was also made possible by the award from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Collecting Cultures programme.

Calling out for art works, Fiona Carmichael, Curator of Art at the Scottish Maritime Museum, says: “We’re leaving no stone unturned in our quest to create the best, nationally recognised maritime-based art collection we can through our SMMart programme.

“The collection already includes stunning works of art across a wide range of mediums from oil paintings, watercolours, drawings, and sketches through to photography, travel posters, sculpture, textiles and mixed media and installation work.

“We are sure there must be some fascinating maritime art works held by members of the public who might want to see them cared for and on show as part of a national collection such as the Scottish Maritime Museum.

“There will be those who have art on display in their home but also those who might just remember work stored in the loft. Some with Clyde shipbuilders in their ancestry, for example, may even have one of those fabulous portrait busts or a painting of a boat their ancestor built, commissioned by them before the advance of photography.”

The Museum is looking for high quality artworks from the 1800s onwards. All works must be over ten years in age.

The Heritage Lottery Fund’s Collecting Cultures programme enables museums, libraries and archives to strengthen and enliven their core collections through strategic purchases.

Those with artworks for consideration should call Fiona Carmichael on 01294 278283.