Could you speak about the origin of Burlington Paintings?
James Lloyd: My father,
Angus Lloyd, and partner Michael Day set up Burlington Paintings in 1981. My father had
been a partner for fifteen years in another west end gallery until he acquired our current
premises at 10 & 12 Burlington Gardens, situated at the southern end of Savile Row
(famous for its tailors), and between Bond St. and Regent St. I have been with the gallery
for eleven years, and my father is now retired from day to day business but maintains an
active interest. The family origins in the art world started with my great uncle who was a
major collector of art, notably JMW Turner watercolors, and was also Chairman of Christies
Auctioneers in the 1950s. His collection eventually was bequeathed to the British
"We deal with primarily 19th and 20th century
European artist working between 1840 and 1960"
PA: How many artists do you represent? Could you mention a few of them?
JL: We deal with primarily 19th and 20th century European
artists working between 1840-1960. In this period there are 400-500 artists in which the
gallery is known to sell, however the availability of stock is very much dependent on the
market place. We represent four contemporary (living) artists. The most important two are
Robert King RI RSMA and Larry Norton, from Zimbabwe.
PA: How does the gallery decide on what
exhibitions to curate?
JL: We put exhibitions together with our contemporary artists every 2-3 years,
and the theme is decided well in advance. The next proposed show of Robert Kings
work will be entitled Around the Mediterranean, and we intend to hold another major
wildlife show of Larry Nortons work in 2003.
For our stock paintings of 19th and 20th century it is more
difficult to gather the paintings of one artist or a specific theme as stock is determined
by what is available at any one time in the market place. Therefore, we publish a major
catalogue of our paintings twice a year and this is mailed to our client list worldwide.
It is also published on our website and emailed to all our web based clients.
PA: During my recent visit I learned that the gallery has affiliations with New
York City galleries. What galleries in New York do you work with, and how does this
JL: We certainly have relationships with a
number of galleries in New York, although I would not actually say we conduct much
|business with dealers in
the United States or the United Kingdom. The majority of the paintings we sell are sold
directly to our clients and collectors worldwide. Approximately 35-40% of our turnover is
with private clients in the USA.
PA: Can people purchase work by artists that you
represent in New York?
JL: Many of our clients come from New York and the surrounding states, and
collect work through a variety of ways. They purchase during visits to London, via
transparencies and photographs, and we are now conducting a growing business through our
website and sending quality images through email. We are currently looking into
establishing an annual show in the New York area so that many of our clients and new
clients can collect and learn more about the European art market of the 19th
and 20th centuries.
PA: Of the artists that you represent which one is the most popular with the
public? What makes this artist so popular?
JL: Art is a very personal choice and taste. What is ideal for one person is not
the liking of the next, however certain subjects are very popular. Perhaps one of the most
popular is views of Venice. In our area of specialization one artist that stands out for
his appeal is Antoine Bouvard Sr., who painted evening views of Venice that have very
appealing senses of light. These works sell well since Venice is such a romantic place
with international appeal.
PA: Does the gallery have any ties with museums in London?
JL: We do have very specific ties with museums in London, and do place paintings
with museums. This past summer we sold a painting to the Yale Centre of Art in Newhaven,
PA: During my travels throughout London I noticed both museums and galleries
focusing on classical realist painting. What do you attribute to classical painting
remaining so alive and prominent and not superceded by the influence of contemporary art
mediums such as video?
JL: I think the classical style, i.e. realism will
always be popular because it is relatively "fashionless."
There will always be a trendy/fashionable section of the market but this tends to come
and go. The 19th and 20th century has many fine artists who were at
least taught the basic techniques of draftsmanship that seems so sadly lacking at art
PA: What criteria does Burlington Paintings use in selecting artists to exhibit?
JL: The artist has to be in our view technically excellent and a master of
|We are interested in
offering the very best in all subjects we deal, and a price level that is competitive to
the market place.
PA: What would you say makes the art scene in London different
from scenes in other European countries?
JL: I think that we have an enormous variety of art to offer in London,
unparalleled in any other city in the world, from old master through the 19th
century, to very modern avant-garde.
PA: What types of people typically attend opening receptions at Burlington
JL: Our clients include, politicians, celebrities, business people, and
entrepreneurs from London.
PA: Does the gallery work in conjunction with any community events?
JL: We sometimes hold exhibitions in conjunction with a charity, and the
proceeds of a catalogue or sales from the exhibition will go to the charity. Our last
Larry Norton exhibition was to aid the wildlife charity Tusk Trust, and the
celebrity, Rory Bremner opened the exhibition live on TV in which a painting was sold for
GBP 5,500 (8,500 USD) that benefited the charity.
"We are probably the most progressive gallery in
London. We have maintained a fully functional website for four years"
PA: Can the gallery be contacted via Internet to purchase artwork? Does the
gallery ship internationally?
JL: I have a particular interest in the Internet. We are possibly the most
progressive gallery in London, in the sense that we have maintained a fully functional
website for the last four years. Direct sales have resulted from this as well as a steady
stream of inquiries and valuations. We have acquired a number of paintings for stock from
private collections and then placed them with private clients through the Internet. The
medium is perfect for an art gallery of our size. With our expertise in our particular
field we are able to make our stock quality paintings available to a much wider clientele
through our website. In five minutes of viewing our site a client can get a good feel of
the type of art in which we specialize. If clients have a specific interest, whether it is
a subject or an artist, our database tracks clients interests as paintings become
available and an email image can be sent. Our site will be upgraded with many new features
in 2000. This will include regular on-line newsletter, a forum for clients and visitors to
discuss topics of interest relevant to the art we handle, and a virtual art gallery.