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Art is a very powerful legacy

24 September 2019

The latest in our lecture series in honour of the late Matthew Wrigley, a founding partner of the firm, began on a sunny evening at Harewood House.

Clients and professional advisors from Yorkshire and beyond, and members of Matthew's family, gathered in The Long Gallery at Harewood to hear an expert panel of speakers discussing the lifecycle of art collections in association with Christie's. The audience of 135 guests was treated to the experiences and opinions from Ruth Cornett (Director, Heritage and Taxation, Christie’s UK), Jonathan Ruffer (Art Collector and Founder of the Auckland Project), Orlando Rock (Chairman, Christie’s UK and Burghley House Preservation Trust) and Jane Marriott (Trust Director, Harewood House Trust) with the discussion chaired by Sylvie Nunn (Partner, Charities Department, Wrigleys).

There was an introduction from newly appointed Wrigleys Managing Partner, Marie-Louise Hamilton, and The Rt Hon David Lascelles, Earl of Harewood. Following the talk, the audience admired and enjoyed the art collection of Harewood House. The house has long been known for its collection ranging from Chippendale furniture, Renaissance masterpieces to more modern works even encompassing Princess Mary's collection of miniature owl.

The panel discussed the typical lifecycle of a collection through the three stages. Learning to look, where each panel member discussed what sparked their interest in art; ownership, stewardship and caring for collections; and finally with legacy and passing on the assets.

When in comes to "building a legacy", Ruth Cornett explains that in some unique cases "acceptance in lieu" has become an alternative method to pay inheritance tax by gifting important works of art to the nation. Notably, Wrigleys and Christie's recently negotiated an acceptance in lieu in situ arrangement to keep a set of Chippendale pier tables and mirrors in the Music Room within Harewood House, while they were allocated to the V&A.

The inspirational message from the panel was that even those with a small budget can create a beautiful and personal collection if you are "determined and passionate", with patron schemes being recommended as a way to get started and support up-and-coming artists. Jane Marriott said "the curious, those not afraid to do something different and take the journey all the way, will make the adventure more stimulating."




Malcolm Lynch View Biography

Malcolm Lynch


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