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The Art

Search for information about all the works of art and craft we have donated to museums

The Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney







Stromness, Scotland


Museum Member (CAS)


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Photo credit: The Pier Arts Centre, Stromness (Orkney)


The Pier Arts Centre was established in 1979 when the author and peace activist, and friend of Barbara Hepworth, Margaret Gardiner (1904 -2005), donated her collection of work by the St Ives School to Orkney. Situated in an 18th-century merchant's house at the edge of the harbour in Stromness, the arts centre occupies buildings and a pier that once housed the former Hudson’s Bay Company. After the completion of a contemporary extension by Reiach & Hall Architects, the Pier re-opened to the public in July 2007.

Regarded as one of the finest collections of its kind in the UK, the centre represents a key period of British Modernism with works by Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Naum Gabo, as well as work by a younger generation of associated artists: Patrick Heron, Margaret Mellis and Peter Lanyon. The Contemporary Art Society has donated over 20 artworks since the Pier became a member in 2002. The collection continues to develop with the addition of a number of works by international artists. Light, colour and landscape are themes that form the backdrop to contemporary additions by Sean Scully, Olafur Eliasson, Camilla Low, Anish Kapoor and Gary Fabian Miller. 

In 2020/21 the Contemporary Art Society and the Pier Arts Centre were in partnership with the National Gallery's Artist in Residence programme. A trilogy of short films by Rosalind Nashashibi was acquired with the support of Anna Yang and Joe Schull. 


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