Brighton Museum & Art Gallery’s 20th-century collection traces the main developments in art and design from Art Nouveau, through Modernism and Surrealism, to Postmodernism and the contemporary. The fine art collection is particular strong in early 20th century British art including works by Camden Town Group artists such as Walter Sickert, Robert Bevan, Harold Gilman and Charles Ginner. It features works by Vanessa Bell, Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland, Jacob Epstein, Eric Gill and Stanley Spencer and holds one of the finest public collections of Glyn Philpot works. From the post war period it has an outstanding collection of Post Abstract Expressionist paintings by Frank Stella, Larry Poons and Jules Olitski.
Thanks to the Contemporary Art Society Collections Fund the museum’s contemporary collection was significantly improved with the acquisition of two 16mm films by Ben Rivers (co-acquired with Bristol Museums). Ah, Liberty! and Origins of the Species (both 2008) were the first artists’ moving image works to enter the collection in 2015. They resonate beautifully with the city’s experimental film-making history and bring a contemporary perspective to bear on the more traditional portraits and landscape paintings. More recently Antepartum, 1973 a key early work by Mary Kelly was acquired with the assistance of the Valeria Napoleone XX Contemporary Art Society (VNXXCAS) Scheme that supports the acquisition of significant works by female artists.
Hove Museum & Art Gallery, now Hove Museum of Creativity and part of Brighton & Hove Museums; Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust, is housed in a Victorian villa built during the 1870s by the architect Thomas Lainson. The villa was a private home until 1913 when it was used to house German prisoners of war. In 1926 it was purchased by the Hove Corporation for use as a museum, opening to the public in 1927. The collection is an eclectic mix of artworks with a number of notable paintings by Duncan Grant and Ivon Hitchins and a small yet important collection of applied art, with a more recent addition of ceramics by Matt Smith. Hove is managed under the same museum service as Brighton Museum & Art Gallery.