Dr Gibson (1933-2020) was born in Dundee and studied Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He became a highly-respected paediatric pathologist based at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow. In his spare time, Dr Gibson not only supported charities related to his professional interests but was also a patron of the fine arts. He hung the walls of his home with works by leading members of the ‘Edinburgh School’ including Anne Redpath, William Gillies and Robin Philipson. He also enjoyed living amidst work by other key twentieth-century Scottish artists, such as Joan Eardley, Alberto Morrocco and William McCance. Moreover, Dr Gibson had a keen eye for contemporary Scottish art and collected examples by Elizabeth Blackadder, John Houston and Duncan Shanks, amongst others.
Dr Gibson was happy to share the pleasure his collection gave him; he lent to public exhibitions and, for example, presented a significant group of works to the National Galleries of Scotland in 2002. It is therefore entirely in character that, following his death in 2020, his collection is being sold to support the activities of his alma mater’s art collection.
The University of Edinburgh has been engaged with the practices of commissioning, purchasing and displaying the work of artists for nearly 350 years, and the present day art collection is comprised of two institutional collections – the University of Edinburgh Fine Art Collection and the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) Collection. Encompassing nearly 8,000 works produced across two millennia, it continues to be a vital tool for teaching and research within the University.
The funds garnered from the sale of the generous gift from Dr Gibson will greatly enhance the capacity and ongoing activities of the art collection team, and in particular support their focus on the creation of acquisition and commission opportunities for living artists.
Works from Dr Gibson’s collection will be offered in four sales taking place throughout 2021 and 2022, which started with our December 2021 Scottish Paintings and Sculpture sale.
Lyon & Turnbull’s Scottish Paintings & Sculpture specialists host two auctions per year from our Scottish auction house based in Edinburgh. Successfully selling around 90% of Scottish Colourist works handled in the last eight years, a record unmatched by our competitors – selling Scottish art in Scotland has always been a Lyon & Turnbull lynchpin. Our specialists are experts not only on the works of Scottish artists, but also on the workings of the art market, and it is this combination that fuels our on-going success in the field.