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History of the Club

Milngavie Art Club originated in 1915.
The club's first exhibition was held in the Territorial Hall, Milngavie, from 25th December, 1915 until 8th January, 1916, with a second exhibition a year later. One purpose of these exhibitions was to raise funds for the Red Cross, so contributing to the war effort. The success of these shows encouraged the Club to hold further annual exhibitions. In the early years, they were held in local school premises, generally during the Easter holidays. Being unsatisfactory venues, in the thirties the McLellan Galleries in Glasgow held six annual exhibitions and in 1940, the Annan Gallery at Charing Cross, Glasgow.

After the Second World War, the impetus for a new beginning came in 1949 with the bequest from Robert Lillie, a banker and enthusiastic amateur artist, for the building of a gallery in Milngavie where Milngavie Art Club was to be permitted exhibitions within the Gallery. It was opened in 1962 with a selection of paintings on loan from Glasgow Art Galleries, along with works by Robert Lillie and a small exhibition of 28 paintings by 13 members of the club, among them Helen Carrick Anderson, Jean Irwin and Flora Wood. Famous artists such as William and Mary Armour and Joan Eardley were past members of the club.
Today more than 700 works are contained in the collection, including paintings, drawings, prints, mixed media, sculpture, ceramics, glass and textiles.