George Leslie Hunter, Peonies in a Chinese Vase c.1928 The Fleming Collection

07/01/20 PRESS RELEASE: Last chance to see Scottish Colourists

7 January 2020

Images: download images here

Last chance to see fab four painters

Visitors are urged to see works by the Scottish Colourists at Abbot Hall this month before the gallery closes for redevelopment.

The Scottish Colourists were a group of four painters whose post-Impressionist work had far-reaching influence on contemporary British art and culture.

Colour and Light: The Art and Influence of the Scottish Colourists - Highlights from the Fleming Collection features masterpieces from the renowned collection of Scottish art.

The exhibition closes on Saturday 1 February 2020.

Kerri Offord, Head of Curatorial Lakeland Arts, said: “This is the last major exhibition before Abbot Hall closes for a much-needed redevelopment.

“Not only does this exhibition explore the ground-breaking artistic achievements of the Scottish Colourists, but it also addresses their influence on subsequent generations of Scottish artists and their lasting impact on modern British art.

“We urge people to take the chance to visit and see these amazing works before the exhibi-tion closes on 1 February.”

This is the first time Lakeland Arts' own work by the Colourist, SJ Peploe will hang along-side one of the finest sets of Colourist paintings in existence.

Lakeland Arts and the Fleming Collection have also widened their collaboration to include a display by artists influenced by the Colourists displaying masterworks from Lakeland Arts’ collection including a monumental work by Joan Eardley.

SJ Peploe, JD Fergusson, George Leslie Hunter, and FCB Cadell were four of the first art-ists in Europe to engage with the creative upheavals taking place in France at the turn of the twentieth century, which saw the birth of modern art.

Hailed at the time as international radicals – equal to artists such as Matisse and Picasso – their work on show at Abbot Hall, Kendal, Cumbria reinforces their status as four of the most talented, innovative and distinctive artists in twentieth century British art.

James Knox, Director of the Fleming Collection said: “The Scottish Colourists were fearless in becoming truly modern artists – determined as painters to crack the code of expressing the reality of contemporary life. This exhibition reveals their concentrated brilliance reflected in their ability to produce challenging work of great beauty and delight."

Colour and Light: The Art and Influence of the Scottish Colourists is sponsored by Rathbones Kendal.

Richard Dawson, Managing Director of Rathbones Kendal, said: "This is a vibrant final ex-hibition before Abbot Hall closes for redevelopment, bringing works from the Fleming Col-lection to join Abbot Hall's own Scottish Colourist pieces.

“As long-time sponsors of Lakeland Arts, we're delighted to support world-class arts and culture right on our doorstep - and we’d like to congratulate Abbot Hall on curating another remarkable exhibition in Kendal.”
Abbot Hall will close for redevelopment in 2020. The total cost of the project is £9.6m. Mul-ti-award-winning MUMA (McInnes Usher McKnight Architects), is the lead architect for the scheme.
The planned redevelopment will mean visitors can experience world class art in redesigned exhibition galleries. It would also see improved accessibility and landscaping making Abbot Hall a welcoming and vibrant place that everyone can enjoy.


Notes to editors:
For further information contact Usha Mistry

Abbot Hall Art Gallery:
Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal opened in 1962. It has built up an outstanding collection and a strong reputation for showing exhibitions of national and international artists of the highest quality. In 2018 it showed work ranging from Claude Monet and Auguste Rodin to contem-porary artists Elisabeth Frink and Alison Watt. The gallery and surrounding estate will un-dergo a major redevelopment planned to start in 2020.

The Fleming Collection:
The Fleming Collection dates back to 1968 when investment bank, Robert Fleming & Co, began to acquire Scottish art to hang in its offices worldwide. From the start, it was decided to acquire Scottish works from all periods to reflect the roots of the bank’s founder, Robert Fleming, who was born in 1845 in Dundee. Today the collection, which is now owned by a charitable foundation, consists of over 600 works dating from the seventeenth century to the present day and is the finest collection of Scottish art outside public institutions. The collection pursues a museum without walls strategy to promote Scottish art and creativity, largely outside Scotland, through a programme of exhibitions, cultural diplomacy, publishing and education.

Rathbones Kendal is a prestigious wealth management firm renowned for offering its clients high quality financial services while still retaining a truly local feel. Rathbones Kendal regu-larly sponsors exhibitions at Abbot Hall: Julian Cooper (2017), Graham Sutherland (2013), Francis Bacon to Paula Rego (2012), Sheila Fell (2011). The firm routinely invests in sup-porting Cumbria's cultural scene and in developing local talent and leadership. Previous ini-tiatives have included sponsorship of the Brathay Trust's Aspiring Leaders Programme, the Lake District Summer Music Festival, Lancashire's Haffner Orchestra and providing free investment advice to charity trustees. Rathbones Kendal is part of Rathbone Brothers PLC - one of the UK’s largest and longest established wealth management firms, established in 1742.

Lakeland Arts:
Lakeland Arts has a portfolio of galleries and museums in the Lake District. Its venues are Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry, Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House and Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories - opened in March 2019.

Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry:
The Abbot Hall site also houses the Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry in the former coach house and stables. The Museum opened in 1971. Immerse yourself in Lake District history, discover the region’s past in farming, mining and tanning. Find out about Swallows and Amazons author Arthur Ransome and stroll down a Victorian Street. The Museum also has a regular programme of exhibitions.  The Museum will close as part of the redevelop-ment of Abbot Hall.

Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House:
Blackwell is situated in Bowness-on-Windermere and is architect MH Baillie Scott's greatest house. Built as a Lake District rural holiday retreat for the Manchester brewery owner, Sir Edward Holt, today it is an outstanding example of an Arts & Crafts House. Retaining most of its original decorative features. It is a perfect setting for exhibitions of historical and con-temporary craft.

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories:
Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories opened on 23 March 2019. De-signed by Carmody Groarke architects, this is a new world-class museum in a stunning set-ting on Windermere displaying an internationally important collection of boats which are all associated with Windermere. The National Lottery Heritage Fund is the major funder for the Museum. Grants are made possible by National Lottery players. The project is also sup-ported by Regional Growth Fund and Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR):
New General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into effect in May 2018. We want to ensure that your data is handled correctly. One of the main requirements is to make sure we have your consent to receiving certain types of communication – and I would be grateful if you could confirm that you are happy to receive communications from Lakeland Arts about programmes and events by emailing

  • George Leslie Hunter, Peonies in a Chinese Vase, c. 1928, oil on board. Credit: The Fleming Collection
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