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 William MacTaggart, Robin Philipson and Anne Redpath. He also enjoyed living amidst work by other key twentieth-century Scottish artists, such as James Cumming, William Gear and William Johnstone. Moreover, Dr Gibson had a keen eye for contemporary Scottish art and collected examples by Elizabeth Blackadder, John Houston and Bet Low, 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.
A selection of works from Dr Gibson’s collection were offered in our January 2022 auction of Contemporary & Post-War Art // Prints & Multiples.
Characterised by competitive bidding, strong results and a high selling rate, our Contemporary & Post-War Art sales are among our most popular auctions. Held three times a year in our Scottish saleroom, highlights are also regularly exhibited in our London gallery. Our strong private client base and excellent international marketing reach has seen these sales grow into flagships of our company.
Encompassing works by both emerging and internationally regarded contemporary artists and sculptors, we have achieved top prices for household names including John Hoyland (a world record), Bridget Riley, Eduardo Paolozzi (a world record for a sculpture), Terry Frost, Nicholas Party, Alison Watt and Callum Innes. Regularly featured local favourites include John Bellany and the ‘New Glasgow Boys’ Peter Howson, Ken Currie, Steven Campbell, as well as John Byrne and Alasdair Gray.