Paisley Museum Reimagined: The Collections

Renfrewshire Council museums have one of the best museum collections in Scotland.

Textiles, weaving and thread
The largest known collection of Paisley shawls (1200), pattern and sample books from key eras of Paisley textile production from mid 18th – 20th century.

Fine Art
Oil paintings, drawings, watercolours, prints and contemporary art. Includes works by the Glasgow Boys, Scottish Colourists, John Byrne and other key 20th century artists

World cultures
1,500 objects from Australasia, Asia, North America, South America and the Pacific Islands. Key objects include an Assyrian wall panel from the ‘Palace Without Rival’ in Nineveh from 700BC; and two of only 15 in the world, Staff Gods from the Cook Islands in the Pacific.

Natural history
Nine volumes of Alexander Wilson’s American Ornithology published in the 19th century, a set of Audubon’s Birds of America. More than 2000 microscope slides, several thousand butterflies, moths and other insects. An extensive collection of mounted birds, eggs, fish and mammals.

Manuscripts and rare books
The Arbuthnott Manuscripts, Papal Bull (1265), Jacobite Rebellion correspondence, charters.

The Museum's historical importance should play a central role within the welcomed regeneration of Paisley, and could help substantially in the journey towards the restoration of the bustling town centre that I remember from my childhood.

Clare Barclay
Visual artist

I have visited the Museum for many years ... it is full of unique and inspiring objects that not only give great pleasure but educate and nourish the soul.

Sam Ainsley
Former Head of MFA programme
The Glasgow School of Art

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