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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’.

Artists featured in this Curation: James Watt (1931–2022)
15 artworks
  • Sandgrab

    Sandgrab 1969
    James Watt (1931–2022)
    Acrylic on canvas
    H 70 x W 94.3 cm
    Dumfries and Galloway Council
    Sandgrab
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: Dumfries and Galloway Council

  • Sandgrabs

    Sandgrabs c.1975
    James Watt (1931–2022)
    Oil on canvas
    H 91 x W 122 cm
    Scottish Maritime Museum
    Sandgrabs
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: Scottish Maritime Museum

  • Ship

    Ship
    James Watt (1931–2022)
    Oil on canvas
    H 35.5 x W 50.5 cm
    Glasgow Life Museums
    Ship
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: Glasgow Life Museums

  • Harbour Scene

    Harbour Scene
    James Watt (1931–2022)
    Oil on canvas
    H 54 x W 90 cm
    Paisley Museum and Art Galleries, Renfrewshire Council Collections
    Harbour Scene
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: Paisley Museum and Art Galleries, Renfrewshire Council Collections

  • East India Extending

    East India Extending 1972
    James Watt (1931–2022)
    Oil on canvas
    H 76 x W 102 cm
    Scottish Maritime Museum
    East India Extending
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: Scottish Maritime Museum

  • 'Portway', Victoria Harbour

    ‘Portway’, Victoria Harbour c.1965
    James Watt (1931–2022)
    Oil on canvas
    H 51 x W 127 cm
    Scottish Maritime Museum
    ‘Portway’, Victoria Harbour
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: Scottish Maritime Museum

  • Crinan Basin

    Crinan Basin c.1980
    James Watt (1931–2022)
    Oil on canvas
    H 56 x W 76 cm
    Scottish Maritime Museum
    Crinan Basin
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: Scottish Maritime Museum

  • Three Puffers, Greenock

    Three Puffers, Greenock
    James Watt (1931–2022)
    Oil on canvas
    H 40.7 x W 91.8 cm
    Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow
    Three Puffers, Greenock
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

  • Old Barge, Crinan Canal

    Old Barge, Crinan Canal
    James Watt (1931–2022)
    Oil on canvas
    H 46.2 x W 101.8 cm
    Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow
    Old Barge, Crinan Canal
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

  • Landscape

    Landscape
    James Watt (1931–2022)
    Oil on canvas
    H 39 x W 90 cm
    Paisley Museum and Art Galleries, Renfrewshire Council Collections
    Landscape
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: Paisley Museum and Art Galleries, Renfrewshire Council Collections

  • Reaper, Anstruther II

    Reaper, Anstruther II
    James Watt (1931–2022)
    Oil on canvas
    H 100 x W 108.5 cm
    University of Strathclyde
    Reaper, Anstruther II
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: University of Strathclyde

  • Greenock

    Greenock 1981
    James Watt (1931–2022)
    Oil on canvas
    H 36 x W 51 cm
    McLean Museum and Art Gallery – Inverclyde Council
    Greenock
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: McLean Museum and Art Gallery – Inverclyde Council

  • Victoria Harbour, Greenock

    Victoria Harbour, Greenock
    James Watt (1931–2022)
    Oil on canvas
    H 56 x W 92 cm
    McLean Museum and Art Gallery – Inverclyde Council
    Victoria Harbour, Greenock
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: McLean Museum and Art Gallery – Inverclyde Council

  • Greenock

    Greenock 1970–1980
    James Watt (1931–2022)
    Oil on canvas
    H 90 x W 120.3 cm
    McLean Museum and Art Gallery – Inverclyde Council
    Greenock
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: McLean Museum and Art Gallery – Inverclyde Council

  • East India Sunday

    East India Sunday c.1965
    James Watt (1931–2022)
    Oil on canvas
    H 40 x W 101 cm
    McLean Museum and Art Gallery – Inverclyde Council
    East India Sunday
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: McLean Museum and Art Gallery – Inverclyde Council

  • "Greenock" by John Davidson (1857-1909)


    Poem chosen by James Watt for Lost Clyde exhibition
    JW_1_jpg
    Photo credit: The Watt Institution