Sotheby’s to Auction 20th Century British Art from The Dartington Hall Trust Collection

. July 14, 2011 . 0 Comments

Sotheby’s have announced the sale of a remarkable group of works by British artists on behalf of The Dartington Hall Trust, to be sold as part of Sotheby’s sale of 20th Century British Art on Wednesday, 16th November, 2011. The works, comprising paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and ceramics by artists including Ben Nicholson, Christopher Wood, Winifred Nicholson and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, have been carefully selected by The Dartington Hall Trust.

The Dartington Hall Trust is maintaining a substantial collection comprising works of art, sculpture, ceramics, books and furniture. The Trust’s collection is one aspect of the organisation’s broad mix of activity which is focused on programmes in the areas of arts, social justice and sustainability.


Ben Nicholson, Charbon, 1930, est. £250,000-350,000. Photo: Sotheby’s.

The paintings to be sold by Sotheby’s have been selected to enable Dartington to strike a balance between the need to raise sufficient funds in order that Dartington may to continue invest in its work in the arts, while still retaining a significant and attractive collection of works to inspire artists and visitors to Dartington. The discrete selection of only 40 works come from a far larger collection of works built up by progressive collectors Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst, the founders of the visionary Dartington Hall Trust.

Vaughan Lindsay, Chief Executive Officer of The Dartington Hall Trust, comments: “We have defined a core collection of works which will remain at Dartington and represents the major artists who worked here, whom Dorothy Elmhirst collected or who have some special link to the history of Dartington. Together they tell the story of Dartington’s very special and important contribution to the arts across several media – sculpture, drawings, paintings, ceramics, textiles, furniture etc. The paintings to be sold at Sotheby’s have been selected to raise sufficient funds to allow Dartington to continue its work in the arts while still retaining a significant and attractive collection to inspire artists and visitors to Dartington. The Elmhirsts were always progressive people and very much about the present, and would, I am sure, support our decision about the use of the Trust’s assets to continue our experimental work in the arts, social justice and sustainability.”

Sale Highlights
The collection includes Ben Nicholson’s Charbon (est. £250,000-350,000*), executed in 1930 and undoubtedly one of the most important works by the artist from this early period ever to come to the market. Nicholson was brought to the attention of the Elmhirsts by the American artist Mark Tobey who had been working at Dartington in the 1930s and it is a testament to the Elmhirsts’ discerning eye that they bought Charbon, an exceptional example of Nicholson’s distinctive pared down treatment of form.

The Dartington Hall Trust
Founded in 1925 by Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst and based near Totnes in South Devon, The Dartington Hall Trust is a pioneering charity ? a place of experiment, enterprise and education where the arts, social justice and sustainability come together on a 1200 acre estate in the heart of Devon.

Today, Dartington continues its work as a place that supports and develops promising new ideas and attracts over £1 million visitors per year to its estate.

Dartington funds much of its work through its own enterprises and activities. However, the demands of the upkeep of the Estate and its desire to continue to develop its programmes means that Dartington needs to raise additional funds to support what it does. Dartington is actively fundraising but is also raising funds from its own assets to support its fundraising campaign, hence this sale of a select number of works of art.

* Estimates do not include buyer’s premium

Category: Fine Art

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