The Crichton Collection – Dumfries

On Monday April 1st the Heritage Lottery group were joined by Claire and Cheryl from GMRC as we visited the town of Dumfries. Meeting early at Glasgow Central, we embarked on a day trip to visit the Crichton Collection.

The collection is made up of artwork by patients of the Crichton Royal Institution, collected by Dr William A.F. Brown Physician Super Intendant of the hospital from 1838-1857.

The Crichton was founded by Elizabeth Crichton after her wealthy husband died. It opened in 1838 and by 1840 Dr Brown was encouraging patients to take up hobbies, one being art. The collection is extensive, spanning the near 40 years Brown worked at the hospital and contains some of the oldest patient art in the world.

Currently it is housed in the archives of Ewart Library, with Crichton Hall now a university campus. A piece I think we all agreed we liked was the amazingly intricate and heavily detailed ‘Cake Month’ by William Bartholomew a prolific artist in the collection.

Blog by Morag Macgilchrist