Bassetlaw Museum is based in Amcott House, a late eighteenth-century townhouse in the centre of Retford, North Nottinghamshire. The Museum was opened in 1986 and its Collection, incorporating the collection of the former Worksop Museum, encompasses a wide range of archaeological, photographic and social history artefacts and a small fine and decorative art collection. In 1994 the Museum opened the Percy Laws Art Gallery which is housed in a modern extension, and since then has hosted a number of exhibitions by local artists and photographers, as well as showing its own works of art. The core of the art collection is a group of oils and watercolours by James Walsham Baldock, a resident of Worksop in the nineteenth century. Raised on a farm by his grandfather, his work depicts the local countryside and rural themes such as hunting.
The art collection also covers more contemporary works, such as Two Standing Forms by a Palisade II by Graham Sutherland (a gouache painting and therefore not included in the present catalogue), and paintings by local artists who have held exhibitions in the gallery.
It is not possible to display any one group of works permanently as we have limited space, but many of the Baldock paintings are out on show as part of a Victorian room setting.
The Collection has grown through the generosity of local and national donors and to some extent by purchases made over the years by the local authority, Bassetlaw District Council. However, limited resources place many works beyond our means. Where possible, we will continue to collect artworks by local artists, both historical and more contemporary.
Samantha Glasswell, Curator
Text source: PCF / Bassetlaw District Council
This description was originally written for a catalogue.