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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
J. Brooks Buxton, a sixth generation Vermonter, spent 40 years in banking and the international oil and gas industry in the Middle East and North Africa - and in London, the inspiration for his 20th Century British art collection.
Brooks began to collect seriously 20th Century British art in the early 1970s on his visits to London from the Middle East and New York. He also collected 18th and 19th Century orientalist drawings, prints and watercolours by the established British and French artists of the period because of his keen interest since his student days in Ottoman architecture and its cultural legacy.
The highly selective collection is a chronological representation of the amazing range of 20th Century British Art, beginning with Walter Sickert, Augustus John, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Stanley Spencer and Sir Matthew Smith. An unusual figurative Sutherland, an elegantly understated William Brooker nude in an interior and a Frank Dobson maquette of a terracotta figure of Europa further round out the collection.
As a young businessman getting started, in London in the early 1970s, Brooks had a limited budget. Within that he was discerning, focusing on quality drawings representative of the artist. He was drawn to the quality of Sickert, feeling that his drafting skills ranked with Degas or Manet. 'I was also drawn to Augustus John,' he says, 'who later became too flamboyant, but in his early days was a superb draughtsman. Then I began to see the relationships with John, Innes or Derwent Lees and the Pointillist period they went through'.
For him the early 1970s was an exciting time in the London art scene when the Modern British painters were finally gaining international recognition. The seminal influence of David Bomberg in his progeny, Auerbach, Kossoff and Creffield, were apparent as well as the strengths of such artists as William Scott, Roger Hilton, Patrick Heron, Peter Lanyon and Terry Frost, all of whom are represented in his collection.
Keith Vaughan was another early enthusiasm for Brooks who has commented that Vaughan was, 'well known back then in the 1970s and 1980s for his standing figures, for his male nudes. I preferred his landscapes. The integrity is there, the sense of colour is very strong and I think that is now being recognised. Vaughan ranks right up there as one of the really cutting-edge post-war British artists in the sense he is very international. I feel that Vaughan is of that level and this is now being recognised'. He cites the three landscapes that hung in his dining room as reflecting 'Vaughan's quality and my interests'. He is also very fond of the Hitchens in the sale because it 'is very Matissean. In my mind he and William Brooker rate with Freud. Big names dominate the market and it overlooks the quality and professionalism of some of these very serious artists. They are not second-tier' he believes. 'They are first-tier British artists.'
'It was always a great pleasure to come home to the flat in London and see the David Bomberg at the end of the hallway', he remembers, 'But now I have retired I feel that I have lived with the collection long enough. I've moved back to my roots in Vermont and somehow Modern British paintings seem more at ease in London and I would very much like a new young generation to share in and to have the pleasure of what I have collected.
The collection is highly personal and sensitively framed. It reflects the owner's lifelong pursuit of art on three continents whether in world class museums and exhibitions or an obscure regional museum with a specialist collection. For him it has been a wonderful experience and education.
Also to be offered from this property are 3 lots which will be sold at Christie's, King Street, in the sale of British Art on Paper on 5 June 2006 and 3 lots which will be sold at Christie's, King Street, in the sale of Orientalist Art on 14 June 2006.