The collection is small yet holds a number of notable works by 20th-century and contemporary artists. Rugby Council has regularly added to the collection since 1946, relying on art advisors to suggest works to acquire. This has created a varied and interesting mix of different artists and styles.
The collection includes works by Paula Rego, Lucian Freud, L S Lowry, Paul Nash and Bridget Riley. Most recently, Rugby has acquired its first moving image work by AK Dolven as well as a major work by Lindsay Seers gifted by the Contemporary Art Society.
Rugby is entering into an active acquisition period, looking to purchase more moving image and photographic works. Curators at Rugby select a ‘collection show’ once a year from March to June; at all other times of the year there is an active temporary exhibition programme. If you are interested in a particular painting that may not be on display you can make an appointment to see it in the stores through the gallery reception.
Located in the centre of Rugby the Art Gallery and Museum is easy to find. The generous exhibition spaces are a little hidden above the library but, with an increasingly adventurous programme, a journey up the stairs to the large modern gallery spaces will be well rewarded.