- Beaverbrook Art Gallery
The Beaverbrook Art Gallery is a small prestigious
art gallerylocated in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canadaon the southwest bank of the Saint John Riverat the edge of the city's central business district. It is that province's provincial art gallery and maintains a collection of considerable quality despite its size.The gallery was established and built in 1958 by British-Canadian press baron Lord Beaverbrookas a gift to his native province where he spent his childhood. Beaverbrook directed his charitable foundations (the Canadian Beaverbrook Foundation and the UK Beaverbrook Foundation) to fill the gallery with the best paintings and artwork from his private collection, including famous works by world-renowned artists such as Gainsborough, Turner, Krieghoff, Dalí, Constable and Reynolds. These paintings are part of the gallery's Beaverbrook charter collection and include Dalí's " Santiago el Grande" and Turner's " The Fountain of Indolence".
In addition to Krieghoff, the gallery also hosts an extensive collection of 19th and 20th century Canadian artists such as the Group of Seven, Carr, Milne and Riopelle. The gallery's current collecting priority is 20th century New Brunswick artists.
A dispute arose in 2003 between the gallery and the heirs of Lord Beaverbrook over custody of the Beaverbrook charter collection. The heirs wish to sell some of the most valuable works in the collection through international art auctioneers
Sotheby'sto raise money for the Canadian and UK Beaverbrook Foundations. The Beaverbrook Art Gallery, on the other hand, maintains that it received permanent custody of the charter collection, citing the wishes of Lord Beaverbrook himself at the time of the gallery's creation.
The dispute proceeded to arbitration, and a ruling was dispensed on March 26, 2007. Of the 133 disputed paintings, 85 were ruled as being gifts from the original Lord Beaverbrook, while 48 paintings were to be returned to the custody of the Beaverbrook United Kingdom Foundation, currently headed by
Sir Maxwell Aitken III, grandson of the original Lord Beaverbrook. Sir Aitken is reported to be appealing the decision.
Over 78 other paintings are disputed by the Canadian foundation in a second legal case against the gallery. It has yet to be heard in New Brunswick, as it had been put on hold awaiting the decision involving the British branch. The Canadian foundation is also directed by one of Aitken's grandsons, Timothy
* [http://www.beaverbrookartgallery.org Beaverbrook Art Gallery - official website]
* [http://www.cbc.ca/arts/story/2007/03/26/nb-beaverbrookruling.html Ownership dispute court ruling - 2007/03/26]
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