Small donation a big deal for Whitby

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A VICTORIAN painting of Whitby has been donated to the Pannett Art Gallery.

The late-19th Century piece by English Impressionist Alfred George Morgan, which depicts Whitby harbour, was donated to the gallery by Driffield-based art dealer Robin Small.

Mr Small, director of William Gibbons Fine Art Limited and a long-time patron of the Pannett Art Gallery, said: “I was at an auction in Darlington and came across a lovely old painting of what I recognised to be Whitby Abbey and the harbour.

“It is quite an unusual piece – it is almost two metres tall and a metre and a half wide.

“It wasn’t in the best condition but I wanted to save it – I thought that it would be amazing if it could be restored.

“I am absolutely thrilled that I was able to come to an arrangement with the Pannett Art Gallery that I would donate the painting to them if they would have it restored and then display it.

“I imagine it will probably take over a year to restore the painting because there is a tear in it, however such is the amazing heritage of the picture it would be a shame if the North Yorkshire public did not get the opportunity to see it.

“My love for art was fuelled by visiting the Pannett Art Gallery when I was young and I am pleased to be able to help display a painting of the local area here.”

Helen Berry, curator of the Pannett Art Gallery, was thrilled to take delivery of the painting.

Ms Berry said: “We are delighted to extend our collection with this piece and we are very grateful to Robin Small for his generosity in purchasing and delivering the painting to us.

“Pannett Art Gallery is continually seeking to expand its collection by adding work depicting local scenes or pieces relevant to the area.

“This painting fits our criteria perfectly as it was painted by an artist working in the Whitby area in the 19th Century.

“We already have in our possession two pieces by the same artist, AG Morgan, so it will fit in nicely.

“We are anticipating that it will take quite some time for the painting to be restored so it may not be exhibited for a while.”

Anyone who would like to sponsor the painting or assist with the cost of its restoration can contact Helen Berry on (01947) 600933.