Sketch for Birmingham University Mural.jpg
Sketch for Birmingham University Mural, gouache on paper, 1963. ©Peter Lanyon Estate, with thanks to Gimpel Fils.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Through the Acceptance in Lieu (AIL) scheme, Tate, the University of Birmingham’s Research and Cultural Collections, and the Victoria Gallery & Museum, University of Liverpool, have acquired works.

Sheila Lanyon died in 2015, and her estate has now agreed to settle a tax bill of £893,775. The Arts Council, which administers the scheme, said the value exceeded the tax liability, but her estate waived some of the value of the three works. Both the Tate and Victoria Gallery & Museum then contributed £72,000 and £8000 each from their own resources to fund the deal.

Peter Lanyon was part of the second generation of St Ives artists with artists including Patrick Heron, Terry Frost and Roger Hilton. His abstract landscapes were later influenced by his views while gliding. But this hobby ultimately led to his untimely death aged just 46.

Through the deal Tate has acquired Clevedon Bandstand (1964), an abstract landscape painting executed in the last year of Lanyon’s life.

The other two pictures are studies for murals the artist painted at Liverpool and Birmingham universities.

The Birmingham mural was painted on board, and the Liverpool mural on an arrangement of ceramic tiles. The Art Fund said these studies are full-size and differ considerably from the completed murals and are “therefore both key works in themselves and important in tracing the development of Lanyon’s artistic thought when undertaking large public commissions”.

Dame Professor Janet Beer, vice-chancellor at the University of Liverpool, said: “As well as being an internationally important and original painter, Peter Lanyon holds a particular place in the University of Liverpool’s heritage, having been first commissioned in 1959 to create a mural for the new civil engineering building.”

Edward Harley, chair of the Acceptance in Lieu Panel, said: “I am delighted that two institutions which have never been allocated anything through AIL have received such significant works by Peter Lanyon, and that Tate should be allocated Clevedon Bandstand, one of his most celebrated works.

“Tate’s significant contribution and willingness in storing the artworks during the consideration of their offer has meant that two regional institutions have been able to acquire works of great significance to them. This example of a national museum aiding those in the regions sets an admirable model for others to follow.”