Final Curwen Collection
It was with great sadness that I learned of the upcoming closure of the Curwen Gallery in Windmill Street. After many years of supporting established and emerging artists, Jill has decided to finish the galleries’ programme with a major live auction… a final celebration of the amazing artwork that has adorned these exhibition walls.
The Final Curwen Collection
I travelled up this week to collect some original pieces of work that had remained in storage at the gallery and to have a quick peak at the auction exhibition. Here’s a few photos of the walls but there’s so much more to see!
It was Jill and the Curwen Gallery that first invited me to show in London as part of the Northern Graduates show in 2006. An experience I will never forget. It certainly set me on the road to where I am today as a professional artist and illustrator. I can’t thank Jill and the team enough for all of their support and encouragement over the last 10 years. I know many other artists that feel the same way and the Curwen will be sorely missed.
Wandering the Gallery Route
It was a strange feeling walking back through the city (with a big silver packet slung over my shoulder!) knowing it will be the last time I wander this route from Waterloo up through Soho to the gallery and back again. Despite it being a grey and sentimental kind of day, there was still plenty of colour to be found… the red lanterns in Chinatown were rather stunning.
Final Live Auction
There’s still time to register for the final auction on Wednesday the 22nd March. It really is a wonderful auction of work so i’d recommend taking a look. You could easily pick up some lovely and important pieces for your art collection!
“Curwen was founded in 1863 by a non-conformist Minister John Curwen, producing books, posters and music manuscripts. Curwen Press then opened a gallery in the 1950’s to sell its lithographic prints. John Hutchings joined this enterprise the 1960’s as Financial Director, later becoming the Chairman.
In 1978, John also became Chairman of a new company, Business Art Galleries. This was a joint partnership between Curwen Gallery and the Royal Academy and was housed in the upstairs galleries at the Royal Academy.
In 1982 John, together with his wife Jill, bought out the Studio and the gallery since they heard that the new owner of Curwen Press was about to close both these ventures. In 1987 Business Art Galleries became an independent company called the New Academy Gallery and relocated to 34 Windmill Street, the opposite side of the road from Curwen Gallery at number 4. The two galleries continued independently until 2005 when they merged under one roof at number 34 as Curwen and New Academy Gallery. You may notice when you visit the gallery that there are a large number of plug sockets along one wall. This is left over from record booths when the building was an historic record store and office. During this time it was the main fan base for The Kinks, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Slade and Ozzy Osbourne.
Curwen Press had a unicorn as its symbol, a design originally inspired by a woodcut by Eric Gill. In 2005 we invited one of our artists, Brendan Hansbro, to design our double unicorn logo to mark the merging of Curwen Gallery and New Academy Gallery.”