Although the works in Pallant House Gallery’s collections are largely British twentieth-century art, there are a number of exceptions, in particular the magnificent Queen Anne townhouse itself. This building was born out of the marriage of convenience of Henry Peckham, a 27 year old burdened by his father’s debts, and Elizabeth Albery, a wealthy widow in her early forties.
They married in 1711 but the relationship lasted only five years, ending acrimoniously with a lawsuit that dragged on until 1720. Much of the dispute concerned the final cost of building Pallant House which came in at £3,000, just under double the estimate. The one thing Henry and Elizabeth shared was an ambition to make their mark on Chichester. Pallant House set the standard for the future developments that have given the city its Georgian character.
The works of historical art and furniture come from the Hussey Bequest as well as other gifts and loans, many of which have relevance to Chichester. These comprise a collection of works by the Smith brothers and a selection of portraits by George Romney.
Key works include: George Smith's 'Winter Landscape' (c. 1765).