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            Iconic view loved by artists

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           Before restoration

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How the gallery looks today





Harbour Cottage Trust

is a Scottish Charity

Registration Number SC 014415





The iconic view of Kirkcudbright, from the Merse side of the river which has appeared in many paintings of the town, was, in the early 1950's, threatened with disruption by the increasingly dilapidated condition of the Harbour Cottages.


The eighteenth century building at the gable end of Castle Bank, which appears on early maps of the town as the Ship Inn, was in such a poor state of repair that demolition seemed it's most likely fate.

A group of civic minded townspeople and artists, among whom the prime movers were local chartered accountant Eric C H Forbes C.A. and the artists Dorothy Nesbitt & Charles Oppenheimer, got together to try to prevent this from happening.


On 12th September 1955 a public meeting was held in the Town Hall at which a committee was elected to manage the project starting with raising the necessary funds.


The plan was to create an exhibition space and a target of £1500 was set for the restoration and adaptation work plus £1000 for future maintenance.


The first Honorary President of The Kirkcudbright Harbour Cottage Fund was the renowned and highly respected painter and pillar of the community Charles Oppenheimer whose name was at the bottom of the letters to the press appealing for support.


All of you who have been charmed by the prospect of this famous group (of buildings) , and the thousands of artists who have painted it, will agree that the disappearance of the cottage would be a calamity."


Contributions from the Historic Buildings Council and The National Trust for Scotland helped complete the funding package and the building's owners, Scottish Agricultural Industries Ltd. donated it to the newly formed Trust.



The Kirkcudbright Harbour Cottage Art Gallery was officially opened on 6th September 1957 with an exhibition entitled "Special Loan Exhibition of Pictures by Deceased Artists connected with Kirkcudbright" ran until September 23rd and was a great success.



Fast forward to the present time and you will find that the gallery is still run by Trustees with help from a band of willing enthusiastic volunteers.



The Trustees of the Gallery recently commissioned a striking new logo which was designed by celebrated local artist Lisa Hooper. The gallery lighting  has also been updated to a modern LED system.