This exhibition marks a significant anniversary for one of Scotland's greatest painters and the beginning of the Gallery's representation of the artist's estate and legacy. Glasgow painter William Crosbie had a fine, enquiring mind, was deeply read and immersed in the liberal arts; he had great technical gifts and was happy to apply these far beyond the confines of studio and easel but at the same time he recognised that a painter needed to paint and to exhibit. This determination to be engaged with the hurly burly and a prodigious work ethic have left much to be rediscovered and celebrated in the centenary year of his birth.
William Crosbie was born in Hankow, China of Scottish parents. His family stayed in China until 1926, when they moved to Glasgow. Crosbie went on to study at the Glasgow School of Art from 1932-5. A travelling scholarship took him to Paris, where he studied History of Art at the Sorbonne and worked under Fernand Leger.
Crosbie showed regularly in mixed Scottish exhibitions, as well as having many solo shows. A retrospective exhibition was held at The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh in 1980. The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow Museums, Newport Museum and Art Gallery, National Trust for Scotland, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums, Hunterian Art Gallery, Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture, and National Galleries of Scotland are among the collections that contain his work.