The museum’s art collection is strong in topographical scenes, images of local personalities, particular events and everyday life. It includes five watercolours by J. M. W. Turner, a pencil drawing by John Constable, an oil painting by Augustus John, watercolours of the city by Louise Rayner, the archive of 20th century sculptor Peter Thursby, and the archive of 20th century artist Rex Whistler. The collection (excluding the Rex Whistler and Peter Thursby archives) comprises approximately 4,000 items.