The North Tyneside Council Collection comprises some 200 artworks, divided equally between contemporary work with a strong emphasis on artists from the Northern region, and more traditional, mainly Victorian-era pictures, including local scenes and civic portraits. The oil paintings in the Collection mostly fall into the latter category.
Paintings have been variously bequeathed, donated and commissioned over many years; most of the contemporary works were purchased in the 1990s.
The working River Tyne, historic fishing villages, and the stunning Northumbrian coastline have all attracted artists to North Tyneside, notably the Cullercoats Artists Colony, whose heyday was 1870–1920 and for a time included the great American artist Winslow Homer.
Fifteen artists associated with the colony are represented in the collection, with some of the key works being Robert Jobling’s 'When the Boats Come in (or Morning on the Beach)', Bernard Benedict Hemy’s 'Foundering off St Mary’s Island' (one of the very few of his paintings in public ownership), and 'Stormy Sea at Cullercoats, Tyne and Wear' by John Falconar Slater.