The Smith Art Gallery

Halifax Road, Brighouse.

Originally the Rydings was a private house built in 1841 by John Brooke.

It was bought in 1897 and converted to the Brighouse Free Library – aka the Victoria Free Library – for the jubilee of Queen Victoria and opened by the Marquis of Ripon on 15th June 1898.

In 1903, local artists started to hold exhibitions of their works, and in 1905, William Smith announced his intention to build an art gallery. The Art Gallery was designed by R. F. Rogerson and was opened on 22nd May 1907 by Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll – daughter of Queen Victoria. She was the first member of the royal family to visit Brighouse.

There were originally 4 galleries; the 2 smaller galleries were used for watercolours and prints, and the 2 large galleries were used for oil paintings and are today used for temporary exhibitions. The original decoration was boarded walls painted Pompeian Red.

Many of the paintings on show were collected William Smith

See Library, Brighouse Art Circle and Halifax Central Library

© Malcolm Bull 2020
Revised 07:49 /20th February 2020 / mms138 / 3714

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