Formerly housed in the basement of the Middleton Hall – which always to me seemed to have a damp air about it – the university’s permanent collection of mainly British art from the period 1890 – 1940 is now located in an airy new space on the ground floor of the Brynmor Jones library. Adjacent is a large gallery for temporary exhibitions, currently occupied by the Scottish Colourists (to July 15th 2018). The permanent collection largely features domestic sized pictures, muted in tone and colour, by artists who are now collectible but whose signature on British art is itself muted. It’s rather summed up for me by the palette of Charles Ginner (1878 – 1952) which is on display – it is an object layered in piles of mud which the adjoining caption says would have been too heavy to hold. It is thoroughly three dimensional, but when one comes to look at one of Ginner’s pictures – The Orchard – one can see how the mud has been transformed into an impenetrable flatness, clearly located somewhere in a salt marsh at low tide. Next to The Orchard is Walter Sickert’s Mornington Crescent Nude, reclining on a bed in a room which suggests that Mornington Crescent was particularly badly hit by London pea-soupers. But there we are. I would prefer the work of the Staithes Group any day. The Scottish Colourists present quite a contrast, and one can almost roam around in the great outdoors of Peploe and the others’ pictures of the western highlands, distant azure mountains the alluring backdrop to uncluttered foregrounds. A place without midges or tourist hordes. I’m not so keen on the Colourists’ interiors, which may be painted in bright colours but show rather pedestrian scenes. Perhaps in my mind at least the colours seem to be competing with the content. An irritating problem with this exhibition is the lighting, which seems to have been done on the cheap. Pictures are illuminated by lights mounted some distance away, which means that close inspection of the paintings is marred by one’s own shadow. Nevertheless, the greater exposure the university’s art gallery will now get is welcome, and providing one visits, e.g. late on a Friday afternoon it should be possible to find a parking space within walking distance.