The Museum is housed in a magnificent eighteenth-century sailmaker's loft in Cowes High Street. This was acquired and restored by Sir Max Aitken, Bt, DSO, DFC, in 1947 and for many years served as his base in Cowes and a home for his very fine collection of marine paintings and artifacts. Sir Max Aitken was well known in Cowes as a keen and very able yachtsman who successfully represented Great Britain in many offshore events. Born in Canada in 1910, Sir Max has been ackowledged by his achievments as a newspaper magnate, a courageous fighter pilot in the Second World War, a Conservative MP, a racing powerboat pioneer, and the founder of the London Boat Show. In 1979 he created a charitable trust to preserve his collection and to make this available to the public as a museum. The very fine paintings in the Museum include works by most of the better known English and Dutch marine artists. The majority date from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries but there are, however, more recent works by the likes of Alfred Wallis, Norman Wilkinson and Montague Dawson. Several of the paintings, and the accompaning memorabilia, reflect Sir Max's interest in Nelson. Several pictures have a local interest. In addition to the paintings, there are many marine artifacts including ship models, figureheads, cannons, furniture and other items from the Royal Yachts, and much else that is fascinating to all those interested in the sea and ships.
Sir Max Aitken Museum
The Prospect, 83 High Street, Cowes, Isle of Wight PO31 7AJ England
Please remember to double-check the opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit