Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, now part of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums was founded in 1901 by funds provided Alexander Laing (1828-1905), a Scottish businessman living in Newcastle who had made his money from his wine and spirit shop and beer bottling business. It opened to the public in 1904.
It has an important collection of British watercolours that have inspired the development of the contemporary collection, including works by JMW Turner and Cotman. There is also a range of 18th and 19th-century paintings with notable works by John Martin, Joshua Reynolds, Paul Gauguin, Burne-Jones and notably William Holman Hunt's masterpiece Isabella and the Pot oif Basil.
The gallery holds a small collection of modern painting, as well as ceramics, silverware and glassware, including works by David Bomberg, Duncan Grant, Dod Procter and Ben Nicholson, Design, 1933 which purchased by the great arts adminstrative supporter David Lindsay, Lord Balniel, later Lord Crawford (1900-1975) for the Contemporary Art Society soon after it was painted. He was then on the Executive Committee of the CAS and a trustee of the Tate.
Over the years Laing has hosted an important and inspiring programme of exhibitions, projects and events often working in partnership with other contemporary art organisations. More recent pieces by Bruce McLean, Chris Ofili, Marlene Dumas, Glenn Brown and Mike Silva have been acquired for the Laing by the Contemporary Art Society.