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Roebuck Collection

A watercolour of a bridge in Venice

The Rialto, Venice by Hercules B. Brabazon © Skipton Town Hall

The Roebuck Collection

Date 1898-1988

Art collection


Who was Clement Roebuck?

Clement Roebuck was born in Huddersfield in 1898. His father ran a successful furniture business, which he eventually passed on to his sons.

Roebuck loved the arts, being a member of an amateur dramatics group and friends with many artists and musicians. He also spent a great deal of time travelling and would often buy pieces whilst on these trips.

He first moved to Wharfedale when he rented Hilltop, a 17th century farmhouse near Starbotton and then in 1953 he bought Currer Hall. He held many parties and social gatherings at his houses, often inviting friends of his including the singer Kathleen Ferrier.

When Roebuck died in 1988, he left his art collection to Skipton. The collection then came to its permanent home at Craven Museum.

Black and white photo of people in formal dress toasting a man in a dinner suit

Clement Roebuck [left] hosting a party © Skipton Town Hall

Watercolour depicting a river with moorland scenery in the background

The Wharfe at Burnsall by Arthur Reginald Smith © Skipton Town Hall

What is in the Roebuck Collection?

The Roebuck Collection contains 145 pieces. All but one of these are framed pictures, with one being a bronze sculpture. The Roebuck Collection reflects Roebuck’s eclectic tastes and is greatly varied.

Roebuck collected pieces which he personally liked, not as a financial investment. All the pieces in his collection were displayed in his home – including in the bathroom!

There are pieces by 18th century Venetian painters, 17th century Dutch still life pieces and an impressive selection of works by important 20th century artists and local Wharfedale painters.

There are multiple pieces by Arthur Reginald Smith, Edward Seago and South African Jacob Pierneef. There is also an oil painting by Dame Laura Knight.

How can I see the Roebuck Collection?

Pieces from the Roebuck Collection are always on display in Craven Museum. Many of these pieces are changed every year. This allows us to rest the paintings for periods between display. It also ensures that visitors have the chance to see different parts of the collection.

Paintings from the Roebuck Collection also regularly feature in exhibitions that are held in our Exhibition Gallery, on the first floor of Skipton Town Hall.

The Roebuck Collection forms part of our museum Store Tours which run monthly, and anyone is able to book a research visit to see parts of our collection which are not currently on display.

Details of many of the pieces from the Roebuck Collection are also available to view on the Art UK website.

A photograph showing a lady in white gloves adjusting a painting on the wall

The Roebuck Collection being redisplayed at Craven Museum © Skipton Town Hall