Fine art

The Atkinson has almost three thousand works of art dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries.  The collection includes a very fine group of 18th century portraits and many artists’ self-portraits including examples by John Bratby and Christian Seybold.

You can see all of our collections on the BBC Your Paintings website.

Highlights of the 20th century collection include several paintings by Walter Sickert and fellow members of the Camden Town School such as Charles Ginner as well as paintings by Scottish Colourists, namely Arthur Melville, JD Fergusson and Samuel Peploe. Key works from World War I include a painting of a mounted trooper by Alfred Munnings and a battle scarred landscape by Paul Nash.  The collection of 20th century British sculpture is small but very high quality and includes good examples by Henry Moore, Elisabeth Frink and Jacob Epstein.

There are numerous important watercolours and oils by major British artists including Sargent, Steer, Landseer, BW Leader, John Sell Cotman and William Henry Hunt, as well as a significant collection of marine and coastal paintings.  Northern artists are very well represented with good examples by LS Lowry, Theodore Major and Harry Rutherford as well work by Liverpool artists such as Arthur Dooley, Nicholas Horsfield and Adrian Henri.

Unusually for a Northern municipal collection there are many Continental works of art including a painting by the French Salon painter Rosa Bonheur, an early large-scale allegory by Nicolas Loir and a Dutch townscape by Willem Koekkoek