Warrington has a long established artistic tradition. The town’s School of Art, initially housed within the museum building between 1857 and 1884, was one of the finest in the country, with its students achieving more scholarships than most other art schools of the time. As a result the collection features the work of several nationally renowned Royal Academician artists who learned their trade in Warrington. Principal amongst these are the sculptor John Warrington Woods, whose epic St Michael Overcoming Satan (1874-7) adorns the entrance hall, and the painters Henry Woods and Sir Luke Fildes, who were regarded as leaders of the Neo-Venetian school. The museum also has a number of paintings by internationally renowned artists such as Jan Van Os, Sir Frank Brangwyn and L.S. Lowry that are displayed frequently.
The museum’s collection of oil paintings can also be viewed for free on the Art UK website as part of a joint initiative with the Public Catalogue Foundation.