Free event Family friendly


There is a strong link between art and mining, and the National Coal Mining Museum has a growing art collection which includes pieces by those who worked in the industry and artists who used mining as their inspiration. See works by amateur artists alongside those by commissioned professionals. Through these we can see the evolution in portraiture style along with a shift in those chosen to represent the face of the industry.

Early mining portraits show coal owners and colliery managers. These commissioned works marked specific events or milestones and were painted to give a sense of importance or esteem. The images of coal miners were not recorded in the same way. This changed in 1947, when the National Coal Board (NCB) commissioned the artist H. Andrew Freeth to record workers in the newly nationalised industry. These ‘Pit Profiles’ were published in the monthly industry paper Coal.

As the mining industry declined, photographers, including Anton Want, documented the last remaining mineworkers. Other photographers such as David Severn have worked on retrospective projects. Severn’s project photographed black mineworkers, whose contribution to the industry had previously been overlooked.

Venue opening hours

Monday : Closed

Tuesday : Closed

Wednesday : 9:45 am - 5:00 pm

Thursday : 9:45 am - 5:00 pm

Friday : 9:45 am - 5:00 pm

Saturday : 9:45 am - 5:00 pm

Sunday : 9:45 am - 5:00 pm

Venue Details

Find us at

New Road, Wakefield, WF4 4RH