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Collections

All the objects in the museum and art gallery collections can be searched by going to East Riding Treasures Online.

East Riding Treasures Online (external East Riding website)

The Museums Service has a policy relating to acquisition and disposal of objects in the collections, which is available by visiting the museum standards page.

Museum at the Treasure House

The museum at the Treasure House does not have a collection of its own, but stores many of the objects from the other collections in its environmentally-controlled museum repository.

One of the most important East Riding collections on permanent display at the Treasure House is the collection of Iron Age swords found in South Cave in 2002. More information on this collection can be found by linking to the Iron Age weapons cache page.

Anybody wishing to donate items relating to social history of the East Riding should complete the museum loan/deposit/bequest form (opens in new window). Loaned objects can only be displayed in relation to the temporary exhibition programme.

Beverley Art Gallery collections

Art galleries generally collect works that commemorate local dignitaries and celebrate their local environment. Since 1906, the Beverley Art Gallery has been collecting portraits of the 'great and the good' of the East Riding.

Like many galleries, Beverley benefitted from the good will acts of those who had amassed fortunes during the Victorian and Edwardian years. For example, John Edward Champney had secured a considerable fortune in the textile industry, and not only donated funds for the building but also left in his will a substantial number of paintings. These works form an important part of the gallery’s permanent collection.

The personal taste of the principal benefactors has determined the nature and range of the collection. Champney favoured contemporary British paintings that were largely influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites and the Aesthetic Movement.

Evelyn Barron also favoured contemporary works. However, with a relatively modest income, he focused on watercolours and etchings. Nevertheless, his donation includes works by a number of distinguished painters and etchers including Arthur R Middleton Todd R.A.

Without doubt the most significant contributor to the collection was Fred Elwell. Following his death in 1958, Fred Elwell left a "magnificent collection of pictures" to the town. Today, in addition to being displayed at the Art Gallery, many of the pictures from the Elwell collection are on permanent display in the Beverley Guildhall. More information on the Elwells is available by linking to the Elwells page.

The East Riding Museums Service continues to add to the collection and invaluable contributions from generous donors continue. Recent acquisitions have included bronze maquettes by the sculptor Jacqueline Stieger and a selection of pen and wash drawings by James Neal A.R.C.A.