Whitby’s Pannett Art Gallery secures funds for painting of Staithes Group’s Laura Knight

Pannett Art Gallery staff team member Lisa with the painting of Laura Knight.
Pannett Art Gallery staff team member Lisa with the painting of Laura Knight.

Whitby’s Pannett Art Gallery has successfully raised the cash to buy a prestigious painting of Laura Knight – one of the most significant Staithes Group artists.

Benefactor George Bednar, a Staithes Group enthusiast, spotted the painting in a London gallery and knew what an important part it played in telling the story of Laura Knight and her husband Harold, who painted it.

He proposed the gallery should purchase the painting and provided a significant contribution towards its cost.

Art Fund and the Arts Council England’s V&A Purchase Grant Fund contributed equally to the outstanding cost of buying the painting, resulting in a wonderful new acquisition for Pannett Art Gallery.

Whitby Town Mayor Cllr Rebecca Pearson was delighted with the acquisition.

“It is fantastic for the town to have had the opportunity to purchase such a beautiful and significant painting,” he said.

2020 is the Centenary of the Pannett Bequest which led to the building of the gallery.

It is also the 25th anniversary of the art gallery dedicating one room to the Staithes Artists and the 50th anniversary of the death of Dame Laura Knight.

The gallery will be focusing on commemorating these anniversaries throughout the year.

Pannett Art Gallery Committee chairman, Cllr Bob Dalrymple, said: “We are delighted to have successfully purchased this powerful, haunting portrait.

“It is a fitting way to celebrate the generosity of Alderman Pannett and the wonderful artists of the Staithes Group.”