Protecting & Conserving The Collection

An important part of the work of the Friends is to raise money to pay for the conservation of the many artworks in the Collection which need to be cleaned, repaired and treated in such a way that they will be preserved for future generations.

Who Carries Out Artwork Conservation?

All conservation work on the Collection is carried out by professional conservators at the Lancashire Museum Service’s Conservation Studios in Preston.

Heather Davis, Conservation & Collections Manager, is in charge of the Studios and she has looked after the Lytham St Annes Art Collection for over twenty years.

For an idea of what goes on in the Studios, read the account of a Friends’ visit in the News page about the trip to the Harris Museum & Art Gallery and the Conservation Studios on Thursday 2 March 2017.

The New Curate painting by Percy Robert Craft 1856–1934, before-conservation

How Funds Raised By The Friends Have Been Put To Good Use

Startled Deer oil painting by Richard Ansdell

Startled Deer Conservation

Following the successful conservation of Hebe and Amphitrite, the statues which grace the foyer of the Town Hall at St Annes, the Friends have now turned their sights towards raising funds for the conservation of Richard Ansdell’s Startled Deer, pictured above.  The total cost of work on this painting is £3,900.

Barbara Weston, our committee member for Publicity and Fund Raising, has recently been successful in obtaining £500 funding from the Mary Cecily Wood Charitable Trust and we are most grateful for this grant.

This oil painting, size 71 x 48 inches (180.34 x 121.92 cm), was donated by Alderman and Mrs J H Dawson in December 1936 and was for some years displayed in the main reception room at the Town Hall.

Startled Deer oil painting with Philip Bourne looking on

Those members and friends who joined us on a visit to the Conservation Studios in Preston on the afternoon of 22 January were able to see this important painting with its frame already removed, so that Philip Bourne, a conservator well-known to us, could see what needed to be done. 

It had a small tear and needed cleaning.  He had cleaned a small area for us to see how it revealed a fabulous blue sky.

Hebe Goddess of Eternal Youth 1864 by Rinaldo Rinaldi 1793–1873

Hebe & Amphitrite Restoration

On 27 June 2019 the Friends proudly presented their biggest over cheque to Fylde Borough Council to pay for the conservation work carried out on the marble statues Hebe (Rinaldo Rinaldi 1864) and Amphitrite (Benjamin Edward Spence 1865).

At £6,700 it is the largest amount the Friends have ever given to enable cleaning and repairs to be done to a work of art belonging to the Collection.

‘Hebe’ and ‘Amphitrite’ are 5’ 5” and 5’ 10” high respectively and both stand on pedestals 2’ 6” tall so they are an imposing presence.

They were donated in 1932 by J H Dawson and they have graced the Entrance Hall of the Town Hall in St Annes ever since.

There is some damage to both sculptures, in particular Hebe is missing a hand.   However, a decision has been made not to replace it.

The Mayor of Fylde, Councillor Angela Jacques, received the cheque on behalf of Fylde Borough Council when this, and other presentations, were made.

Amphitrite Sea Nymph 1865 Rome by Benjamin Edward Spence 1822–1866

The Arts Society Fylde Donation

The Friends were delighted when The Arts Society Fylde chose to celebrate ‘Ten Years/Enriching Lives through the Arts’, by making a donation of £1000 to conserve 7 ivories:

Devotion, Clam’s Dream, A Gust of Wind, Elephant Bridge, Daikoku and a Child, Tortoise Playing with Fisherman and Fisherman Serenity.  The cheque was presented at an event held at St Annes Town Hall on Wednesday 17 October 2018, attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of the Fylde.  The Friends paid for the Plaque to commemorate the event.

Amphitrite’s head partially cleaned
A Lady Seated on a Balcony by Alfred Louis Andrieux, 1879 – 1945

James Hilton Lord of the Manor of Lytham Donation

Mr James Hilton, Lord of the Manor of Lytham, donated a large part of the money needed for the repair and conservation of this painting with the Friends holding a fund-raising event for the outstanding amount.

An event, attended by Mr and Mrs Hilton, to celebrate the return of the painting, entitled ‘A Lady Seated on a Balcony’, but more commonly called ‘Penelope’ because it is believed to be the character from Greek Mythology awaiting the return of Ulysses, her husband, was held on Thursday 21 June 2018 at the Town Hall in St Annes,

Ivan Midgley Donation

In November 2017 members celebrated the unveiling of the lovely, white marble bust of ‘Alcina’ after she had been conserved.

The work was paid for using a generous donation to the Friends by Ivan Midgley, who attended the social event at the Town Hall in St Annes.

White marble bust, before conservation, of Alcina, 1880, by F S Francini
Loch Nagar by Alfred de Breanski Snr, 1852 – 1929

Reta Midgley Donation

Ivan Midgley’s gift followed one from his late mother, Reta Midgley, 1929 – 2013, a valued member of the Friends who gave a substantial donation just before she died.

This paid for the conservation of the beautiful painting ‘Loch Nagar’. The Friends celebrated it’s restoration at the Town Hall in St Annes on 30 September 2016.

LSA Civic Society Donation

On 10 February 2015 the Friends gathered in the attractive Reception Room at Town Hall in St Annes along with members of the Lytham St Annes Civic Society.

The occasion was to see on display the newly cleaned and restored ‘Lytham Sandhills’ by Richard Ansdell and to thank the Civic Society for donating the money to pay for the conservation of this lovely painting.

The Speakers gather in front of the Lytham Sandhills painting by Richard Ansdell - Philip Bourne (conservator), Margaret Race (Friends), Sarah Kellam (descendant of Richard Ansdell), Margaret Collinson (LSA Civic Society)

Peter Bretherton Donation

In 2013 the Chair of the Friends wrote to Mr Peter Bretherton, the then President of the British Lawn Tennis Association, to ask if the Association would contribute to the cost of the conservation of a painting whose subject matter is a scene depicting tennis players at the turn of the last century.

Bretherton responded generously to this request, pledging the full cost of the work personally.

An event was organised at the Town Hall on 29 July 2014 where members of the Friends, Conservation Studios and Fylde Borough Council all met with Peter Bretherton to express their thanks for his very kind donation.

The New Curate painting by Percy Robert Craft 1856–1934 - artwork before conservation
The Drummer Boy painting by Mark William Langlois 1848-1924

Friends Fundraise For The Drummer Boy

The first painting to be conserved with money raised by the Friends was ‘The Drummer Boy’ which was then displayed in an exhibition in the Fylde Gallery entitled ‘A Right To Play’.

A cheque for £2,000, the cost of the conservation, was presented at the Preview Evening.

We Need You...

The Friends of the Lytham St Annes Art Collection is a not-for-profit organisation.

We would be very grateful for any donations that will help to conserve the artworks within the Collection.

Thank you

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