The Art Gallery was specially built to house the Wrigley Collection, over two hundred oil paintings, watercolours, prints and ceramics collected by local paper manufacturer Thomas Wrigley. His three children gave them to the town in 1897 to be enjoyed by all.
The oil paintings include J MW Turner's Calais Sands, Sir Edwin Landseer's The Random Shot, John Constable's Hampstead Heath and George Clausen's Spring Morning: Haverstock Hill. Successive curators have added to Wrigley's legacy. There are 20th century paintings by artists such as Victore Pasmore and Edward Burra, and a growing selection of contemporary artists.
Working with the Collections
The staff at Bury Art Museum are continuously working to develop exciting new exhibitions and events, alongside this they also work with artists, academics and researchers to explore and interpret work from the collection.
International Touring Exhibition
Bury Art Museum has considerable experience in international practice. We are currently leading a consortium of North West museums generating touring exhibitions from the region's great art collections to foreign galleries. In November 2012, the first exhibition from the consortium, Toward Modernity: Three Centuries of British Art, began its tour to six venues in China, including Beijing. The exhibition includes paintings, prints, drawings and watercolours from collections in Manchester and throughout the North West of England.
An extraordinary wealth of works by British artists exists in the museums and galleries of the North West, a consequence in large part of the Industrial Revolution which led to the patronage of artists and the forming of magnificent collections by wealthy manufacturers and business people. This exhibition, draws on the great richness of art that is the legacy of collecting and patronage by the men and women of the North West, it includes examples of different genres of painting and drawing, from the grand tradition of history and religious subjects, to portraiture and landscape (two of the most familiar staples of British art), to paintings and drawings which will offer glimpses of the actualities of everyday life. It celebrates the individuality and eccentricity of British art as well as its sophistication and extraordinary levels of intrinsic skill.