Art UK is the successor to Your Paintings. It is a joint initiative between the Public Catalogue Foundation (now known as Art UK), 3,000 museums and other art collections, and the BBC.

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There are numerous themes within the museum collections, most relate to local life over the past 200 years. The Museum is housed within a Grade II listed Georgian building, previously called Beck Hall. There are re-created period shops and trades including the chemist, blacksmith and village store. The impressive photogrpahic collections holds around 25,000 local images. There are two important oil paintings both painted in 1943 by Reginald John 'Rex' Whistler, who was based in Pickering as an officer with the Welsh Guards.