Conservation of the Collection

Satirical painting showing the construction of the Links Road. Several workmen are shown in the foreground, with a large white elephant being led by a donkey shown in the foreground. 'Road or no road that is the question' is written on the gable end of a building in the centre background.

‘Road or no road’ by W. A. Dick (1878)

Close up view of portion of painting showing small tear requiring repair

Close up view of portion of painting showing small tear requiring repair

Did you know that our collection includes over 900 works of art? These include paintings, prints, sketches and woodcuts.

As part of our redevelopment programme, we have 3 paintings undergoing conservation work to be displayed when we reopen in summer 2025. One of these paintings is ‘Road or no road’ dated 1878 by W. A. Dick, a painter based in Market Street.

This satirical painting depicting a white elephant being led by a donkey tells the story of the controversial building of the Links Road in the late 19th century. The Links Road runs alongside the Old Course, and its creation was deemed by some in the Town to be an overdevelopment of the famous golf course, while others viewed it as necessary to modernise. Its display will allow us to tell the story of the modernisation of St Andrews from a Town in relative decline in the 18th and early 19th century, to a thriving tourist, academic and retirement destination which today is known as ‘the home of Golf’.

We are grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Museums Galleries Scotland for supporting our important conservation work. Can you help us on our journey to preserve local heritage? Check out our donation page here to directly donate to the project or adopt an artefact: