The National Coal Mining Museum for England holds a collection of international standing, which contains over 100 oil paintings. The works in the collection portray the coal mining industry in all its aspects, from the coalface through to miners’ home lives and also document the changing landscape of the English coalfields.
The artists covered range from Henry Perlee Parker through to works produced by miners themselves, such as Tom McGuinness, who portrayed their own working lives; some, such as McGuinness, becoming professional artists.
The Museum began collecting in 1986 as the Yorkshire Mining Museum, based then as now at the historic Caphouse Colliery. The Museum gained national status in the mid-1990s and acquired the British Coal Collection at the same time; art owned by the nationalised industry was also acquired.
The Museum continues to collect both historic and contemporary works to broaden the range of its collection and has been generously supported by a number of grant-giving bodies, private donors and the artists themselves.