Glasgow boy goes home

November 21 2012

Image of Glasgow boy goes home

Picture: ArtFund

Congratulations to Glasgow City Council and the National Galleries of Scotland for buying Sir James Guthrie's The Orchard. From the Art Fund website:

The unprecedented partnership of Glasgow City Council and the National Galleries of Scotland bought the work for £637,500 from an auction at Sotheby's in London. The purchase was made possible by grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund, who gave £423,358 and £62,983 respectively.

John Leighton, director general of the NGS, said: "Guthrie's In the Orchard is a key masterpiece in the story of Scottish art and, at a time when funding is obviously very scarce, it is entirely fitting NGS and Glasgow City Council should join forces to acquire this iconic work for the public.

"We are immensely grateful to the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund for their rapid and very generous support, which has allowed us to move quickly to secure this extremely important work at auction."

It's rare for a UK museum to buy something at auction for such a large amount - so it's a great effort, especially if you consider that the NHMF had only 14 days notice to contribute their £423k:

Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the NHMF, said: “This is wonderful news. Guthrie’s In the Orchard is universally acknowledged as one of the most powerful paintings of the Glasgow Boys Movement, which directed the course of modern art in 19th century Britain.  When news reached the National Heritage Memorial Fund just fourteen days ago that this seminal work was at risk, we were able to act extremely fast and pledge our support in record time to secure this important part of our heritage for future generations to enjoy.”

Well done and a large round of applause to everyone involved.

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