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Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery

Located on Abbotshall Road in Kirkcaldy, close to the railway station, Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery was constructed on the site of the former Balsusney House, part of an integrated scheme which was to represent the town's memorial to the Great War. The Museum and Art Gallery opened in 1925, built in a plain Classical style and funded by linoleum manufacturer John Nairn in memory of his son who was killed in the war. The work of Perth-based architects Heiton and McKay, this long two-storey building is now B-listed. The words "Museum and Art Gallery" are inscribed above the entrance portico.

Kirkcaldy War Memorial sits in front of the building, which is surrounded by pleasant gardens. Kirkcaldy Library was built three years later as an extension of the Museum and Gallery building in the same style. The entire building underwent a 2.5 million refurbishment 2012-13.

Inside, there is an extensive and award-winning permanent local history exhibition on the ground floor and a changing programme of temporary exhibitions. Static and interactive displays draw attention to the industries, events and personalities notable within Kirkcaldy. However, best-known is the fine art collection, which is of national importance. There are significant collections of the works of William McTaggart (1835 - 1910) and Samuel Peploe (1871 - 1935), the best outside the National Gallery of Scotland, together with a significant number of works by the Glasgow Boys. This collection owes much to John Waldegrave Blyth (1873 - 1962), another local industrialist, who lent paintings from his own collection and also served as first Chairman of Trustees and Honorary Curator of the Gallery for 36 years. On his death, the Gallery bought a large number of these paintings, which are shown today in the Blyth Room. As part of the 2013 refurbishment, the gallery was modified to make it more appealing particularly to the younger generation, with the fine paintings displayed alongside interactive exhibits.


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