The fine and decorative art collections date from around 1500 up to 2010. The decorative arts are particularly strong in furniture, ceramics and glass. There are also modern wall hangings, wood work, metal work and a group of 1960s furnishing textiles. The furniture collection has notable examples by members of the Bloomsbury Group (1930- 1945), James Moore (1716), Augustus Pugin (1849) and Danny Lane (2000).
The ceramics collection has a good range of eighteenth century tea wares and is brought up to date by some fine examples of modern craft pottery by makers such as Bernard Leach, Hans Coper and Felicity Aylieff.
The art paintings, as opposed to those in the local history collections are not topographical but show national trends in painting and printmaking from 1840 to 2000. All but a very few works are by British artists with a strong emphasis on work produced by local makers. Strengths are works by artists associated with St Ives and prints produced by Walter Sickert and his circle. Other artists represented by important paintings include John Bratby, Edward Burra, Patrick Heron and Carel Weight.
Paintings from our Art collection can also be seen on the BBC's Your Paintings website: click here.