Alert Section

Flintshire County Council's Works of Art

Flintshire County Council is often asked about works of art in its possession. There is a fundamental problem in answering questions about works of art as people have very different ideas about what constitutes a work of art. 

The other issues are that not all art works in the custody of the Council are actually owned by it and that it owns some art works which are not in its custody: 

  • North East Wales Archives (NEWA) takes in many archive collections on deposit, where the depositor retains ownership but the Council stores and maintains them on the understanding that they will be made available to the public for consultation. Archive material is generally for consultation rather than display and might not generally be considered to be works of art but collections frequently contain photographs, drawings and sketches, even paintings and sculptures.
  • Museum collections are managed by Aura Leisure & Libraries (Buckley Museum and Mold Museum) and Greenfield Valley Trust (Greenfield Valley Museum and Heritage Park). Again, most artefacts in the museum collections would not generally be considered works of art but there are exceptions.

Given the above caveats, here are answers to some commonly asked questions:

How many art works does the Council own?

It isn’t possible to give an overall figure in answer to this question, for the reasons mentioned above. What the Council owns can be conveniently divided into the following:

1. At Countryside Services sites across the county, there are numerous artworks including the following:

- 8 sculptures by Mike Owens:
- Flint Poster Art; 
- “Functional art” fencing at the Kathleen & May Heritage Centre and Point of Ayr Colliery site; 
- Community link waymarkers
- Four beacons down the coast:
- Two beacons for World War I centenary;
- Dug-out canoe and six carved beams on Flint Foreshore west of Flint Dock.
- Kathleen & May boat sculpture, Connah’s Quay
- Lighthouse and gateway features, Talacre
- Snake and newt earth sculptures, Wepre Park.

For further details see link to public display document below.

2. At County Hall, Mold, the Council holds several artworks, namely:

- 3 portraits; 
- 1 pottery, wall-mounted map of Flintshire; 
- 2 mosaics depicting scenes of Flintshire; 
- a series of large-scale photographs of Flintshire. 

3. At Theatr Clwyd there is 1 copy photographic print and a series of large-scale photographs of recent productions.

4. At the Registrar’s Office, Llwenygrin Hall, Mold, there are 5 framed prints.

5. FCC’s museum collections contain:

- a small fine art collection which contains mainly Victorian portraiture of local dignitaries plus items by amateur Buckley artist James Bentley. 
- a decorative art collection of Buckley ceramics including the Martin Harrison Collection.

6. Thousands of other artworks such as watercolours, sketches, engravings, photographs and sculpture have been deposited at NEWA as part of various archive collections. 

Flintshire County Council does not hold information relating to artworks in schools. This information may be held by individual schools. Information about Flintshire Schools and their contact addresses.

What is the total value of the collection?

Unknown. Most items have not been valued and are significant for their historical rather than monetary value.

How many artworks have the Council bought recently and how much did they cost?

Five artworks in total were purchased by Flintshire County Council in the period 2016-2019. All were purchased by Countryside Services and all were externally funded: 

  • Big Flintshire Guardian (BFG) sculpture in Flint, funded by Coastal Communities Fund, £5,000.
  • Point of Ayr Pit Pony sculpture and ‘functional art’ fencing, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), £8,000; 
  • Flint Poster Art, funded by Eirgrid, £720; 
  • Kathleen & May Heritage Centre ‘functional art’ fencing, funded by HLF, £1,806.50; 
  • Flint bench sculptures, funded by Cadw, £10,000.

How many artworks has the Council sold recently?

How many art works has the Council sold recently, for how much and what was the money used for?Flintshire County Council does not sell works of art.

What is the cost of upkeep?

This is a complex question as there are different aspects of upkeep.

  • Insurance: All art works are insured as part of the general insurance policy of Flintshire County Council and there is no separate cost available.
  • Storage: art works on display would generally have no storage costs separate from the general upkeep of the building in which they are kept. Art works in the Museum Service and NEWA are packaged and stored in their general storage areas and strong-rooms along with other museum and archival items.
  • Repair: this would be done as and when required. NEWA has an archive conservator on the staff who would repair art works as well as other archival items if required and if the work fell within his areas of expertise. Any art works requiring other skills would be dealt with by a specialist employed specifically for the purpose at a cost agreed on a case-by-case basis.