The Baird Institute holds collections of Mauchline Ware, Cumnock Pottery, mining equipment, photographs and artifacts of local and social history. Also features exhibitions of traditional and contemporary art. Well worth a visit!
The Baird Institute is a 4 star museum & gallery which lies in the centre of the town of Cumnock. It was opened in March 1891 to provide leisure facilities for local people and included a museum, billiard room and reading rooms.
Today it holds collections of Mauchline Ware of world importance complimented by many items of Cumnock Pottery as well as a wide range of resources which relate to the history of Cumnock and the Doon Valley area – museum collections, archives, photographs, audio visual materials, books, maps and newspapers. One room is also dedicated to James Keir Hardie, founder of the Labour Party and contains many of his personal belongings.
Combine this with a continually changing programme of contemporary art exhibitions (which has included Picasso!) and a range of events and workshops taking place throughout the year and a visit to the Baird Institute will be worthwhile, whatever your interest.
The funding for the erection of the Baird came from John Baird who, in his will, bequeathed money for a public building in Cumnock. The building was designed by Mr Robert Ingram of Kilmarnock and was opened in March 1891 and is in the Scottish Baronial style, constructed from local Mauchline and Auchinleck pink sandstone. All rooms were illuminated with gas lighting, each with Irish white marble fireplaces except for the one in the Billiards Room which was made from Italian black and gold marbl