The fourth staging of Master Paintings Week
, 29 June to 6 July 2012, a collaboration between twenty-three leading galleries and three auction houses, has been well received by collectors and curators who have taken advantage of the free rickshaws to help them get around. The success of this annual event yet again highlights the pre-eminence of London in this field. The participants were delighted to see so many collectors as well as curators from the UK and abroad with new faces from China , Eastern Europe , France , Italy , Spain and even Greece.
Visitors were not only impressed by the variety of works on offer, ranging from the 15th to the 20th century and in all schools and genres, but also that so many of the participating galleries had staged special exhibitions. Ben Elwes Fine Art, who presented First Impressions: Landscape Oil Sketches 1780-1860, from the John Lishawa collection, was very pleased with the week and has already sold six works with prices ranging from £10,000 to £40,000 to new buyers, with a further sale to an existing client. Sales were also made by Moretti Fine Art and Johnny van Haeften, the latter selling a charming still life by Laurens Craen.
(asking price £300,000)
Deborah Gage reported healthy visitor numbers throughout the week, with several new faces appearing with Blackberrys and the MPW Iphone App in hand, while Rafael Valls felt that visitor numbers had increased on last year. Newcomer Angus Haldane commented: As a first-time participant, it has been a great success. Our exhibition has seen a steady flow of visitors, including many new private clients, and feedback has been really positive. Sales include a painting to a descendent of the sporting artist, Charles Cooper Henderson. Fellow newcomer Theo Johns Fine Art had sold three paintings after a very busy first weekend, one of which was an 1885 oil sketch of a beggar woman by the Dutch Javanese painter Jan Toorop (1858-1928). Other dealers, and even those who have not yet confirmed sales, are confident that MPW will generate future business, particularly as some museums have reserved works.
Curators were much in evidence from such major institutions and museums as: the National Galleries of Scotland , British Museum , National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery , Victoria and Albert Museum and Tate Britain , The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford , The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham , Burrell Collection, Glasgow , Dulwich Picture Gallery, and the Fitzwilliam Museum , Cambridge . Representatives from French museums including the Frits Lugt Collection and the Musée du Louvre, Vienna s Kunsthistorisches Museum , the Mauritshaus in The Hague , the Aachen Museum in Germany and fourteen American museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and Worcester Art Museum , also did the rounds.