Born in Motherwell in 1938, James Hardie studied at Glasgow School of Art. Following his graduation in 1959 he travelled to the Netherlands and France then exhibited throughout Scotland. In 1968 he moved to Aberdeen to teach at the College of Education. It was at this time that Hardie learned to fly an aeroplane, so he could visit his art-teacher students. He became fascinated by the landing strips and made many drawings of windsocks. Much of Hardie's work draws inspiration from his love of flying and the open spaces of the west coast and islands of Scotland.
There are seven works by James Hardie in the collection, five of which are currently on display in the Pathfoot Dining Room.
In early 2013 the Art Collection organised a major exhibition featuring the work of James Hardie and his two daughters, Amy Hardie and Gwen Hardie. The exhibition catalogue is available for sale in the Crush Hall, or online.