Exhibition puts coast artists in the picture

Fylde mayor Coun Peter Hardy and mayoross Sheila Hardy with Margaret Race, chairman of the Friends of the Lytham St Annes Art Collection, and other guests at the launch of the Art of Giving exhibition at the Fylde Gallery

Fylde mayor Coun Peter Hardy and mayoross Sheila Hardy with Margaret Race, chairman of the Friends of the Lytham St Annes Art Collection, and other guests at the launch of the Art of Giving exhibition at the Fylde Gallery

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Fylde coast residents are being encouraged to enjoy close to a century of art which celebrates the history of the region.

“The Art of Giving: 90 years of the Lytham St Annes Art Collection” is on show at 
Fylde Gallery in Booths, Haven Road, Lytham.

The exhibition features more than 40 works, with Fylde mayor Coun Peter Hardy encouraging art-lovers to enjoy the displays.

He said: “The title is self-explanatory – all the art in the collection has been given to the people of Fylde over the years. It is looked after by 
Fylde Council and periodically displayed to residents who are, in effect, its owners.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for people to see works of art that are known nationally and even internationally.

“The gallery itself has its own story: the collection itself was started in 1925 with the gift of Herd Lassie from John Booth, the founder of the Booth’s chain of grocery and supermarket stores.

“He said at the time that he only wished he could donate an art gallery. That wish was honoured by Graham Booth, a current Booths director, who incorporated the Fylde Gallery into Booths’ Lytham store.

“I urge everyone to attend the exhibition. Fittingly, it is free to enter and is a great 
afternoon out.”

A number of the paintings are by Richard Ansdell, who gave his name to the village located between Lytham and St Annes. The Fylde collection has the largest collection of Ansdell paintings in the world.

One of the exhibition’s organisers is Margaret Race, a member of the Friends of Lytham St Annes Art Collection and granddaughter of Alderman James Herbert Dawson who donated a number of paintings and statues to the collection.

A number of paintings are being displayed with new information plaques about the painting and artist. The information has been gathered by local art enthusiasts in the lottery-funded “Tagging the Treasures” project.

Opening hours of the exhibition are 10am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday and 10am to 3.30pm, Sunday.