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James Watt is the pre-eminent Scottish maritime artist of the twentieth century and the River Clyde is his muse. We present this to compliment our current exhibition of his work to celebrate his 90th birthday, The Lost Clyde.

Born in Port Glasgow, James Watt studied at The Glasgow School of Art and has dedicated his life to recording the remarkable River Clyde and its industries. From charting the mid-twentieth century highs to the more recent lows, his work forms both a highly personal and irreplaceable historic archive of a river whose industries helped shape the modern world and personifies the notion of the artist as the ‘chronicler of change’.

15 artworks




Harbour Scene

East India Extending

'Portway', Victoria Harbour

Crinan Basin

Three Puffers, Greenock

Old Barge, Crinan Canal


Reaper, Anstruther II


Victoria Harbour, Greenock


East India Sunday

Photo credit: The Watt Institution

"Greenock" by John Davidson (1857-1909)

Poem chosen by James Watt for Lost Clyde exhibition