Winchester City Council Museums Service cares for a collection of around 1,700 works of art, mainly consisting of watercolours and prints but also including 78 oil paintings. The majority of the pictures are views of Winchester and the surrounding district but the collection also includes portraits of mayors, local nobility and some royals.
Winchester Museums Service was founded in 1847 and in 1851 was transferred to Winchester City Council. The service’s remit is to represent the history and development of the city and wider district of Winchester City Council. The majority of the art collection is stored at the museum store where they can be viewed by appointment. However, over half of the oil paintings are on display in public buildings and other pictures are used in temporary exhibitions such as the annual Mayor’s Choice.
The art collection includes bequests, donations and purchases and the Service’s collection policy still provides for new acquisitions.