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This lot will be removed to an off-site warehouse at the close of business on the day of sale - 2 weeks free storage
Property from the Collection of the Late Audrey Burton, O.B.E., Sold by Order of the Executors
Stanley Burton was born in 1914, the eldest son of Sir Montague (1885-1952) whose Burton manufacturing and retailing business became one of Britain's best known and by the time of Montague's death in 1952 was the largest multiple tailor in the world. In the same year, Stanley Burton was elected a member of the University of Leeds Council and was thus well placed to know of the University's hopes, ambitions and needs. Not much escaped his attention and for nearly half a century he was one of its greatest friends and benefactors.
Perhaps the greatest of Stanley's many acts of generosity was his unfailing support and encouragement of the visual arts. Leeds College of Art was a leading force in the reappraisal of art education in Britain during the 1950s and 1960s, pioneering new ways of teaching. The University was one of the first to employ working artists in its Fine Art department, integrating studio practise and art historical studies. Quentin Bell, son of Vanessa, who came to Leeds in 1959 as Head of Fine Art, set about reviving the University's Art Treasures Committee and invited Stanley Burton to join. Between 1965 and 1967 there was a remarkable number of acquisitions, many underwritten by Stanley's 'anonymous' donations. He would offer funds and suggest particular artists, leaving the University to make the final choice.
In 1970, Stanley helped to establish the University Art Gallery and up to the end of his life, continued to suggest possible acquisitions which he was willing to fund. Much of what he bought for the University, or suggested to them that they might like to buy, came from exhibitions or galleries that he and Audrey had visited, or purchased from, together. They were frequent customers at the Waddington Galleries, Crane Kalman and Arthur Tooth in London, as well as at Sarah Gilchrist's Leeds gallery and many others at home and abroad.
After Stanley's death in 1991, Audrey's interest in the University Art Gallery continued, and before her death in August 2008, she gave the art collection one of the greatest gifts of all - a dedicated space, with all its needs provided by specialist facilities. She wanted to see more of the collection on permanent display, that its richness might be appreciated and that its potential for education as well as enjoyment might be accessible to all. Transformed and enhanced, the gallery was re-launched as The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery in March 2008.
Christie's South Kensington are delighted to offer property from this distinguished Collection.
We are grateful to Dr. Hilary Diaper, Keeper, The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds and to Sir Nicholas Brooksbank for preparing this introduction.