North Ayrshire Council’s Heritage Team are the custodians of the Council’s art collection and within that collection we have some works by three local artists with very different styles, but they all have one thing in common and that is the subject of their work: Robert Burns.

Self-Portrait of Robert Bryden (1890)

Robert Bryden was born in Coylton, in South Ayrshire, and worked as a painter, engraver and sculptorHe produced a series of illustrations of scenes from Robert Burns poems. 

George Houston

George Houston was born in 1869 in Dalry, before moving to Saltcoats as a child.  It was at Saltcoats Public School that his gift of drawing was noticed, and he went on to attend Glasgow School of Art. 

Houston produced a series of etchings entitled Burns Country, which was a set of 12 prints depicting different places around Ayrshire which were associated with Burns at various times of his life.  The series was published in 1915 and was accompanied by text written by a friend of his, the writer and journalist Neil Munro, famous for the Para Handy stories. 

Our third Burns artist is Grahm McKean, who is an Irvine artist whose work is highly collectible and is held in prestigious private and public collections worldwide. 

He paints full-time and has a studio within the Courtyard Studios at the Harbourside in Irvine.

Graham McKean