Gallery of County's Oils

A book illustrating all 1,500 publicly-owned oil paintings in Hertfordshire has gone on sale. Hitchin MP Peter Lilley was among the guests at the book s launch hosted by the Friends of Royston and District Museum. One of the largest sections is of the 126

A book illustrating all 1,500 publicly-owned oil paintings in Hertfordshire has gone on sale.

Hitchin MP Peter Lilley was among the guests at the book's launch hosted by the Friends of Royston and District Museum.

One of the largest sections is of the 126 paintings in Letchworth Museum, particularly the works of Spencer Gore and William Ratcliffe, which are described as having particular local relevance as well as artistic merit. The book also contains 84 paintings currently in Hitchin Museum.

The book, Oil Paintings in Public Ownership: Hertfordshire is the 21st in a series covering the whole country by county.


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The paintings are drawn from over 40 collections in Hertfordshire including museums, art galleries, council buildings, educational establishments and public libraries

They provide an insight into the cultural heritage of the county and its towns as well as informing people the full extent of publicly owned art in Hertfordshire.

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Fred Hohler, chairman of The Public Catalogue Foundation, said: "There's something of the Old Curiosity Shop about Hertfordshire when it comes to its paintings. Everything seems tucked away and hidden and quite unexpected little discoveries keep popping up."

The Foundation is a registered charity, which was set up to photograph and record all oil, acrylic and tempera (using dry pigment, water and egg yolk) paintings in publicly owned collections in the UK.

The book costs �20 and is available from the museum shops at both Hitchin and Letchworth museums and some of the proceeds are being given to the museums by the Public Catalogue Foundation to enable further conservation work on the paintings.

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