Art Collections

The fine art collections have been collected mainly as a visual record of Buckinghamshire places, buildings, people and crafts and include works by renowned artists such as Samuel Palmer, William Callow, John and Paul Nash, and John Piper. The collection includes watercolours, drawings, wood engravings, prints, oil paintings, maps, books and brass rubbings.

Visiting the collections

If you would like to find out more or see any of the collection that is not currently on display you can make an appointment with the collections team, either individually, or as a small group. There may be a charge for this. For information about the Museum Resource Centre click here .  To search the whole collection on line click here

Art UK (previously BBC Your paintings)

We were part of this exciting project to digitise all oil paintings and sculpture in public ownership within the UK. Explore our collection and many more.

Visit Art UK  (link to external website)

The Muir Trust Artist in Residence programme

Every two years (2019 and on) the Muir Trust finances a residency when visitors can see an established artist at work and view the creative process.  Click here to find out more about the Muir Trust and past residencies.

Photo Gallery

View photographs of some collection highlights here

Modern Studio Ceramics

We have one of the most important collections of British Studio Ceramics in the country with over 340 pieces. The collection represents the work of many major potters working in Britain in the 20th century.

Central to the idea of studio ceramics is the relationship between the potter and their work. Unlike the segmented production of ceramics made in a factory, studio potters are involved in every stage of making a pot, from design to production. As the term studio ceramics suggests, the scale of production is small and intimate, each piece is a unique work of art crafted from clay.

British studio potters have used a wide range of styles and techniques, from the delicate pinched porcelain forms of Mary Rogers to the angular slab-built pots of Ian Auld. Our collection highlights and celebrates the diversity of this rich tradition. It was begun in the 1960s by the Curator Christopher Gowing who purchased pieces directly from potters and from well-known dealers and craft galleries.

Find out more about  20th century British Studio Ceramics

Visiting the studio ceramics collection

A small selection of around 30 pots is on display in the main museum and more of the collection can be seen by appointment at the Museum Resource Centre, Halton. Please email for details and charges.

The Jury by John Morgan, 1861Art - collections page - The Jury

A fascinating group portrait of twelve townsmen from Victorian Aylesbury. Find out more about the sitters, the artist and the painting with our interactive facility.

View and find out more about The Jury painting

Views of the Gardens at Hartwell House by Balthasar Nebot, 1738

Topiary Alleys and Arcades behind the House

Explore this series of paintings commissioned by Sir Thomas Lee in 1738 to celebrate his newly created landscape garden at Hartwell, near Aylesbury. These paintings are currently on display in the Georgian Room at the museum.

Please contact the museum before making a special journey to see these paintings as the Georgian Room is occasionally needed for other exhibitions and events.

View and find out more about the Hartwell paintings