South Scotland

British Rail's Galloway landscape returns to Kirkcudbright

The Galloway Dee Image copyright other
Image caption Charles Oppenheimer painted The Galloway Dee while he lived in Kirkcudbright.

A Scottish landscape used in an iconic British Railways poster has been donated to a Galloway museum.

The Galloway Dee was one of a series of paintings of the region by Charles Oppenheimer while he lived in Kirkcudbright.

It became symbolic of south-west Scotland when it featured in the cult advertisements during the 1950s.

Now the original watercolour has been donated to Kirkcudbright's Stewartry Museum.

The donation follows the purchase of an authentic Galloway Dee British Rail poster by the museum several years ago.

Both works will be displayed side-by-side in Kirkcudbright later this year.

Image copyright other
Image caption British Rail used Oppenheimer's work to advertise south-west Scotland.

Anne Ramsbottom, Dumfries and Galloway Council's museum curator for the west, said they are important additions to the museum's collection.

"Charles Oppenheimer painted some beautiful landscapes, of which we have a few, but he was also part of the British Rail campaign where he painted landscapes of certain areas British Rail wanted to publicise and they turned them into posters," she added.

"The Galloway Dee is a very significant piece because it's a good example of his work.

"It's also that link between the artistic element and the commercial element that all professional artists have to show. He produced this work especially for British Rail posters yet it's a standalone piece of work in itself.

"It's a lovely piece to have."

Charles Oppenheimer was born in 1875 and he lived in Manchester, before moving to Kirkcudbright in 1908.

He was one of a number of artists who lived in the town, who became known as part of the "Kirkcudbright School" of painters.

The Galloway Dee, which is on display at the Tolbooth Art Centre in Kirkcudbright, is thought to be worth several thousand pounds.

In 2013 an Oppenheimer oil painting sold at auction for £17,500.

The donation to the museum was made by the Science Museum Group on the recommendation of the Railway Heritage Designation advisory board.

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