Taking place in February 2019, the sale will include works by some of the most prominent artists from the past 150 years, such as James McNeil Whistler, Hannah Gluckstein (‘Gluck’) and Sir George Frampton. It also features the iconic flag print designed with the name of the gallery by Sir Peter Blake, a leading figure from British Pop Art, in 2012. It has an estimate of £700-1000.
“This sale is a celebration of The Fine Art Society’s contribution to the British art world since the Victorian era, when our shows shocked, delighted and occasionally scandalised audiences,” says FAS chair Annamarie Phelps. “The artworks we have selected are those which are most representative of our time on New Bond Street and illustrate some of our long-forgotten stories.”
Among the highlights in the show are 11 prints by Whistler, including The Rialto, estimated at £7000-10,000. He completed it in the late 1870s when he was bankrupt after pursuing a (successful) lawsuit against the critic John Ruskin. One of eight full-scale versions of Frampton’s sculpture of Peter Pan is also included with an estimate of £80,000-120,000.
A history in Mayfair
The FAS’s founders signed the lease on a ‘fancy goods shop’ at 148 New Bond Street in 1876, becoming the first gallerist to set up in Mayfair, which is now one of the centres of London’s art world. After designing a purpose-built gallery in 1881, it featured the works of Whistler in a revolutionary new style: hung in a single, continuous line on white walls, a precursor to many, if not most, modern exhibitions.
FAS left its premises in August and relocated to Chelsea, a temporary step until it secures a permanent address. Its new premises at Michelin House on Fulham Road are open Monday to Friday by appointment only.
Halcyon Gallery will expand into the Bond Street premises and is due to open in 2019.
The Fine Art Society also operates a gallery in Dundas Street in Edinburgh’s New Town.