23 July – 25 September 2011
A new exhibition at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, West Sussex, showcases highlights from a major new Gift of Modern British Art. One of the most significant donations in the Gallery’s history, the George and Ann Dannatt Gift is a remarkable new addition to the Gallery’s permanent collection, featuring over 100 paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints and over 1500 books many of which are artist-illustrated first editions.
The new exhibition showcases highlights from the collection including works by the St Ives artists such as Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton, Peter Lanyon, Denis Mitchell, Ben Nicholson, William Scott, John Tunnard, and other British artists such as Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde, John Craxton, Elizabeth Frink, Alan Reynolds and Keith Vaughan, as well as prints by European Modernists such as Jean Arp, Pierre Soulages, and Victor Vasarely.
The Gift complements Pallant House Gallery's existing collections of Modern British Art, filling existing ‘gaps' in the area of post-war abstract art. It also fits well with the Gallery's identity as a ‘collection of collections': sitting alongside those of the church patron Walter Hussey, the architect Colin St John Wilson, the property developer Charles Kearley, and The Golder - Thompson Gift of contemporary prints, amongst others.
An abstract artist, George Dannatt (1915-2009) began to amass his extensive collection during the 1950s and 1960s. A close friend of the St Ives artist Patrick Heron, Dannatt was a regular visitor to the Cornish town, where he exhibited with the Penrith Society of Arts and joined the Newlyn Society of Artists. Other friendships followed through which he developed a remarkable collection of artworks by figures associated with Cornwall, including Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Paul Feiler, Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton, Peter Lanyon, Denis Mitchell, Ben Nicholson, William Scott, John Tunnard, John Wells and Bryan Wynter.
George Dannatt and his wife Ann, founder of the Association of Women Housing Managers, whom he married in 1943, created their own rural equivalent of Kettle's Yard, filling their home in Wiltshire with artworks, books and music. Having no immediate heirs, George and Ann had placed their collection in Trust and they explored ways in which the majority of it could be kept together for the benefit of future generations before deciding upon Pallant House Gallery as its permanent home.
Simon Martin, Head of Curatorial Services says: ‘We are delighted to receive such a prestigious collection. Visiting the house and studio soon after George died, with the pencils and paints just as he had left them in the studio was a moving experience, and it is a great testament to Ann's generosity of spirit that she has decided to present the collection as an outright gift in her lifetime.'
Notes to Editors:
Key works include John Tunnard's ‘Cat's Cradle' (Sphere and Wall) (May 1940), William Scott's ‘Cup' (1974), Terry Frost's ‘Black and White Movement' (1954), Robert MacBryde's ‘Fruit on a Caucasian Cloth' (c.1944), Denis Mitchell's ‘Treen' (1961), William Gear's ‘Landscape' (1951), Paul Nash's ‘Ghosts of the Hellebore and Thorn Apple Escaping from the Woods' (c.1942).