Origins of the Lytham St Annes Art Collection
The Collection started on 29 June 1925 when John Booth (1857-1941), of the famous grocery business, presented The Herd Lassie, 1876, by Richard Ansdell. Booths, founded in 1847, is the biggest independent grocery chain in the country. This painting was donated to the townspeople of the Borough of Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, to be “a nucleus for the formation of an art gallery”.
This set a much-favoured example which was taken up by the eminent citizens of the time, whom we can thank for the large collection of very high quality art that we have today. With a desire to promote the cultural importance of the town the recently formed Borough Council accepted these gifts with great publicity in the spirit of generosity that was intended. The idea of an art collection, donated by local individuals for the public benefit, was most welcome. Local Alderman James Dawson donated another Ansdell painting six years after Booth and over time contributed more than fifty paintings and sculptures, including an outstanding work by artist Henry Fuseli. Eventually, the Collection grew to over 240 works.