His initial donations were made in the second decade of the 20th century. He continued to donate paintings for almost 30 years. Those paintings donated by Sir Alexander Walker include local Kilmarnock scenes by artists with reputations which do not extend far beyond Ayrshire. They also include paintings by European artists with names which are widely known and figures who can claim an important place in the history of Scottish art. Walker was not inspired by the more radical contemporary art of his day, be it Scottish or European and among the paintings which he donated are some 19th century works which did not accord with the fashionable taste of his day but which are now among the most admired in the Dick Institute's collection.
Sir Alexander's friend, George Dunlop, who was the proprietor of the local newspaper, the Kilmarnock Standard, was another substantial benefactor of the Dick's collection. Although not exclusively interested in Scottish art he could be said to be responsible to a very great extent, for the collections strength in this area. Like Sir Alexander Walker, he was not attracted by the cutting edge of the contemporary art of his day. While Sir Alexander Walker and George Dunlop donated largely as individuals, they also donated jointly. An example of this is a painting which is probably among the most popular in the collection and one which has been in demand on loan for temporary exhibitions as far afield as Japan and Spain. This is a large canvas, 'Greek Girls Playing Ball' by Frederick Lord Leighton (1830-1896). It was donated by Sir Alexander Walker and George Dunlop together.