Freud's Auerbachs (ctd.)

March 4 2015

Image of Freud's Auerbachs (ctd.)

Picture: ACE

Good news: the Arts Council has shrewdly decided to spread Lucian Freud's collection of paintings by Auerbach - accepted by the UK government in lieu of death tax - across Britain. There was some suggestion they would all go to Tate. 

There are 15 paintings in oil, and 29 works on paper. The Guardian quotes Gerry McQuillan, a senior adviser at the Arts Council, on how the works were allocated:

“We’ve never had so many objects offered in one group,” said Gerry McQuillan, the panel’s senior adviser. “Nor was there any conditions on where they should go from the estate.”

The 15 oils and 29 works on paper were divided into 14 groups with around 20 galleries expected to apply. “Lo and behold we got double that,” said McQuillan.

Some of the works have been deliberately kept together: for example early drawings from the late 40s and 1950s which have gone to the British Museum.

A guiding principle was that they were distributed to as good a geographic spread as possible - including the capital. “Auerbach has spent his life painting London so it would have been perverse not to have given anything to London,” said McQuillan.

That means the Courtauld Institute in London is getting arguably the finest painting in the collection, Rebuilding the Empire Cinema, Leicester Square 1962.

The beneficiaries range from comparatively small galleries such as Abbot Hall in Kendal, Cumbria, to the big guns such as the National Museum Wales and Tate. The Hatton Gallery in Newcastle, Hartlepool Art Gallery and the New Art Gallery in Walsall will all receive their first ever AIL allocations while Glasgow museums are getting their second allocation in over 35 years.

Update - Here's the full list of allocations.

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