Former Art Hire Collection set for public auction

Archived news: published on Tuesday 22 Mar 2016 by Fife Council

Elspeth Lamb - Towards Moscow

Elspeth Lamb - Towards Moscow

Alistair Mack - Metablic Circus

Alistair Mack - Metablic Circus

Fife Council’s former art hire collection is set to be auctioned on Saturday 2nd April in Edinburgh.

Earlier this year the Council’s Executive Committee agreed to transfer 126 of the artworks into the Fife Museums Collection which is managed by Fife Cultural Trust on behalf of the Council. These include notable works by Sir J.W. Gillies, Sir William McTaggart, and Sir Robin Philipson among others. It was also agreed that the other 661 pieces would be offered, free of charge, to Fife’s other museums with the remainder made available for sale.

Linda Temple, Cultural Partnerships & Events Strategy Manager for Fife Council said: “We are pleased that a further 27 pieces of artwork, which are of significant interest to Fife’s art heritage, have been donated to various local museums, including works by William P. Vannet, and Generation artists Owen Logan and Martin Boyce.”

“We want to draw people’s attention to the auction as there are a number of works which depict picturesque local landscapes. We also believe that the sale will have great national appeal due to the diversity of the works, with pieces by many prominent Scottish painters from the 20th Century, including Brian Keany, Elspeth Lamb, John Kirkwood, Ken Morton, Mary Toms and Alastair Mack to name but a few.”

“Any money raised from the sale of the collection will be used for essential restoration and conservation of the remaining artworks that are being transferred to the Fife Museums Collection.”

Around 300 of the works will be sold in the stand-alone sale at 11am on Saturday 2nd April. The auction is being managed by Thomson Roddick Scottish Auctions and will take place at their Edinburgh Auction Centre in Rosewell near Edinburgh. Viewing will be available the day before from 12 noon until 6pm.

The collection is also available to view online at and Online bidding will be available at together with the usual in-house saleroom bidding.

Commission bids can be left with the auctioneers via email or telephone, or you can come to bid at the auction on the day. Travel and bidding details are available online at

The remainder of the collection will then be sold over the coming months as part of weekly furnishing sales.

The decision to auction the former Art Hire Collection was agreed by the Council’s Executive Committee in January 2016 as part of a wider paper on the review of art collections. Read the papers here.

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