Historic Whitby art is returned to borough

Boats making a dash for Whitby Harbour in a storm by Robert Ernest Roe
Boats making a dash for Whitby Harbour in a storm by Robert Ernest Roe
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Scarborough Art Gallery is in the process of acquiring a new painting of Whitby by Victorian artist Robert Ernest Roe.

Boats making a dash for Whitby Harbour in a storm will join four other Roes in the Scarborough Collections.

It was installed at the art gallery yesterday evening and is now on show to the public in the Ship to Shore gallery from the following day.

And the gallery is hoping that visitors will enjoy the painting enough to contribute towards its purchase from its current owner, a Finnish collector.

It already has £6,500 towards the total cost of £11,000 from confirmed supporters including The Art Fund, and the Friends of Scarborough Art Gallery.

A Roe of similar size and quality recently sold at auction for £15,000.

Head of Collections Karen Snowden said: “We wanted Boats making a dash because we already have several paintings by Roe and this one complements them.

“The Scarborough Art Gallery collection reflects the whole of the borough, not just the town of Scarborough. At present, we only have watercolours of Whitby and this is an oil.

“Unfortunately, neither the Pannett Art Gallery nor Whitby Museum were in a position to fundraise to buy the painting, but once we have purchased it, it will of course be available for loan to Whitby Museum and the Pannett Art Gallery.”

Karen added: “The Art Fund employs independent art experts to appraise any art work that is being considered for grant-aided purchase, so a grant from them confirms that a work has merit and is worthy of a place in a public gallery.”

Born in London, Robert Ernest Roe (1851-1921) was the son of animal painter Robert Henry Roe.

He specialised in Yorkshire coastal scenes, and lived and worked in Scarborough, in a studio on Huntriss Row, from about 1868 to 1880.