A celebration of the art of Scottish Colourists

To celebrate its 10th annversary as a charity, The Fleming Collection is holding a series of exhibitions in 2010, starting with a fabulous display of all its Scottish Colourist paintings.

Samuel John Peploe's A Vase of Pink Roses
Samuel John Peploe’s A Vase of Pink Roses

The Fleming Collection, with the only museum in the UK devoted to Scottish art, celebrates its 10th anniversary as a charity in 2010. A series of exhibitions at the collection’s gallery at 13 Berkeley Street, London, is being held to mark the anniversary and kicks off with a display of all the collection’s Scottish Colourist paintings. More than 30 works by Samuel John Peploe, Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell, George Leslie Hunter and John Duncan Fergusson are on display together for the first time, from 19 January to 1 April 2010.

The Fleming Collection began life in 1968 as a handful of paintings bought to decorate the offices of the London merchant bank, Robert Fleming & Co Ltd. It was the brainchild of David Donald, from Aberdeen, who suggested to his fellow directors that some pictures would relieve the stark bareness of the walls. The collection was sold in April 2000 to The Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, a new charitable foundation endowed by the Fleming family, which opened the London gallery and aims to raise the profile of Scottish art, by introducing it to a wider audience. Until about 1980, Scottish art was under-rated by the market and David Donald was able to acquire superb works by the Colourists for prices which seem very modest today.

Francis Cadell's The Feathered Hat
Francis Cadell’s The Feathered Hat


In his first year as The Fleming Collection’s art buyer, he purchased four oils by the Colourists, including Peploe’s A Vase of Pink Roses and Hunter’s Peonies in a Chinese Vase. Further acquisitions followed over the next few years but, by the early 1980s, Scottish painting was becoming better known internationally and prices rose sharply. The Fleming Collection has oly been able to buy one further Colourist oil painting during the past 30 years – Cadell’s The Feathered Hat in 1992. The four Scottish Colourists have excited more interest in the past three decades than they did during their lifetimes and have been recognized as among the most forward-thinking British artists of the early 20th century.