The Tolbooth Art Centre was opened in 1993 by H.M. The Queen. The building was originally erected in the period 1625-1629 (with later additions) as Kirkcudbright's Tolbooth, having a multi-purpose use as the Town Council meeting place and office, Burgh and Sheriff Court, and the Criminal and Debtors' Prison. One of its most famous prisoners was John Paul Jones, hero of the American Navy.
The award-winning Art Centre now presents visitors with the story of the Kirkcudbright "art colony" through an audio-visual show called "The Artists' Town" and through the permanent display of some of the best Kirkcudbright paintings in the Museum Service collection.
The top floor of the building, formerly the Debtors' Prison, is now used as a gallery for contemporary art and craft exhibitions.
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