One of London’s oldest and most celebrated commercial art galleries will return to St James’s next year, a century after leaving Pall Mall for Mayfair.
Colnaghi, which was established in 1760, will relocate from its current premises on Old Bond Street to a new 4,000 sq ft exhibition space at 26 Bury Street, which is due to be completed later this year as part of The Crown Estate’s £500 million investment into its St James’s portfolio.
The custom-built gallery comprises several exhibition areas, designed to showcase Old Master paintings, sculptures and drawings, along with accommodating Colnaghi’s celebrated library.
Colnaghi began life as a print publisher and dealer which, by the nineteenth century, had been appointed print seller to the Prince Regent, the future George IV. Later in the century the gallery’s prominent position saw it working closely with many celebrated artists including John Constable.
Colnaghi was also among the first to recognise the artistic possibilities of photography and entered into an agreement with the visionary British photographer Julia Margaret Cameron for the sale of her work in 1863.
Today, Colnaghi remains one of the most successful galleries in the world and continues to sell works of art to leading international museums including, in the last five years, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Städel Museum in Frankfurt.
Commenting on the move Colnaghi Chairman, Konrad Bernheimer, said: “St James’s sits at the heart of the London art market and The Crown Estate, the major real estate owner in the area, has been very supportive of this, with initiatives such as London Art Week.”
He continued to say that the new, larger gallery will give Colnaghi greater versatility and allow them to present a wider range of art works in bespoke surroundings.
He concluded by saying: “As Colnaghi enters an historic new chapter and returns to St James’s 100 years after moving from Pall Mall to Mayfair, I am looking forward to maintaining Colnaghi’s pre-eminent position in the art world and to inspiring future generations of collectors from a magnificent new gallery in St James’s.”
Anthea Harries, St James’s Portfolio Manager at The Crown Estate, added: “Colnaghi is a true specialist in its field so we’re delighted that they have chosen the new accommodation we’re creating at 26 Bury Street for the latest iteration of this world renowned gallery. The new gallery will be a wonderful attraction for the area.”