Town's public art collection sold off at auction for good causes

Daisies by Geoffrey Chatten

Daisies by Geoffrey Chatten achieved £570 when it went under the hammer. - Credit: Great Yarmouth and District Society of Artists

A town's public art collection amassed over 40 years has been sold off to benefit good causes.

Some 37 paintings making up the permanent collection of the Great Yarmouth and District Society of Artists went under the hammer at Keys in Aylsham as there was nowhere to display them.

Cheque handover Centre 81 Great Yarmouth

Margaret Carver (left), chair of the Great Yarmouth and District Society of Artists, presents Diana Staines, chief executive of Centre 81, with a cheque for £5,200 at Yare House, which is being transformed into a new centre for the charity’s members. - Credit: Centre 81

They raised £10,400 - a sum that has been split between Centre 81 and the Sandra Chapman Centre at the James Paget University Hospital.

“This is a very happy ending for the collection,” said the society’s chair Margaret Carver. “These are two very good local causes and we are absolutely delighted to be able to support them in this way."

Rowland Fisher painting sold at auction

Boats by Rowland Fisher sold for £350 at auction. - Credit: GY and District Society of Artists

Part of the collection was on display in Gorleston library for 15 years but was removed when the library was refurbished.

Since then, all the pictures – including works by noted artists Campbell Mellon, Rowland Fisher and Geoffrey Chatten – have been out on loan or in storage.

Great Yarmouth art collection sold off for good causes

This oil painting by Geoffrey Chatten made £860 at auction. Auctioneers, Keys, waived their commission so every penny raised could be donated to good causes. - Credit: Great Yarmouth and District Society of Artists

“It’s disappointing that there wasn’t somewhere to have the collection on permanent display, and that all that talent was hidden away in a store,” said Mrs Carver. “We took the difficult decision to sell the paintings so that they could be enjoyed by new owners."

Artist Julian Macey, pictured aged 98, getting ready for his first solo exhibition. Picture: Nick Bu

Artist Julian Macey, pictured aged 98, getting ready for his first solo exhibition. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

The permanent collection was started 40 years ago by Julian Macey to showcase the work of talented local artists, and most of the pieces were bought from the artists by the society.


Diana Staines, chief executive of Centre 81, said: “This is an extremely generous donation by the society and comes at a time when we are creating an amazing £1.5m facility for our skills and activities centre and community transport service.

“Art plays a big part in the lives of many of our disabled members, who get stimulus and a great deal of pleasure from the creative process.

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"It’s wonderful to know that the sale of decades of work by such amazingly talented local people will play a part in Centre 81’s future.”

Ranworth watercolour painting makes £580 at auction.

Winter at Ranworth by Colin Burns sold at auction for £580. - Credit: Great Yarmouth and District Society of Artists

Maxine Taylor, charity co-ordinator at the James Paget University Hospital, said: “We are enormously grateful for this fantastic donation from the society which will be used to buy two chemotherapy treatment chairs for the Sandra Chapman Centre."

Cley Mill painting by Peter Metcalf sold

Cley Mill by Peter Metcalf sold for £210 at auction. - Credit: Great Yarmouth and District Society of Artists

Oil painting of River Thurne sold at auction.

Thurne Mouth by Owen Waters sold for £340. - Credit: Great Yarmouth and District Society of Artists