The private Barns-Graham collection will be auctioned online Thursday evening


The personal art collection of Edinburgh College of Art graduate Wilhelmina Barns-Graham will be sold on Thursday by auction house Lyon & Turnbull in London in an auction which will also be shown online.

The link to the auction is here.

The collection includes 70 paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, ceramics and jewelry that the artist owned when he died in 2004.

The auction features works by Dame Barbara Hepworth, Sir Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, Roger and Rose Hilton, Bernard and Janet Leach, Denis Mitchell, Ben and Kate Nicholson, Breon O’Casey, Alfred Wallis and Bryan Wynter. There are also several Barns-Graham paintings for sale.

A highlight is a “double-nude” Hepworth drawing, Figure and mirror – a wedding present from Hepworth to Barns-Graham when she married poet David Lewis in 1949. With auctions starting at £ 100,000, the work bears witness to one of the first close friendships Wilhelmina made upon arrival in Cornwall.

Barns-Graham joined Cornwall’s arts community in 1940 when she was 27 and straight out of college.

Proceeds from the sale of her collection will be used to assist the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust (WBGT) in its ongoing work to support artists with prizes, travel grants, educational projects and exhibition sponsorship.
The Trust was established by Barns-Graham in the 1980s and since 2006 has disbursed funds totaling £ 400,000 to individuals and institutions. Initiatives for young artists include summer schools in Fife and St Ives and a contribution of £ 25,000 to the Tate St Ives reopening education program. It also offers scholarships in higher education to support travel abroad and provide financial assistance to enable students to complete their studies.

Working closely with the Royal Scottish Academy and Porthmeor Studios in St Ives, WBGT also supports residencies for more established artists, encouraging career development and new ways of thinking and working.

Rob Airey, director of the Edinburgh-based Trust, said: “The funds raised through this sale will allow the Trust to extend this ambitious financial support to artists and arts education, which was so central to Barns’ wishes. Graham.

Charlotte Riordan, Head of Contemporary and Post-War Art at Lyon & Turnbull, an Edinburgh-based auctioneer, said: “Selling a private collection is always exciting, but managing the sale of a collection linked to a private collection. significant movement like the St Ives School is exceptionally rare.
“Even if, as specialists, our role is to promote a work, you never know how much people will be willing to pay at auction. Hepworth’s designs are rare in the market, and Wallis’s works are truly fantastic examples.

Wallis is a reference to Alfred Wallis, a self-taught artist from St Ives whose work is also for sale. The works were bought for pennies and are now selling for tens of thousands. The

former sailor and man of rag and bone died in poverty in 1942.

It was “discovered” in 1928 by painters Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood. Artists were stunned by the subconscious nature of Wallis’ work, and the reunion has been described as a turning point in the history of modern British art. Barns-Graham knew Wallis but did not want to buy him any paintings because she felt it exploited his good nature.

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